Issue 38 - Oct 9, 2020
  • First-ever TCL-AACI study of the leadership pipeline points to urgent need for more diversity at elite cancer centers

    How diverse are the upper rungs of leadership at America’s academic cancer centers?

    Are these institutions promoting women and underrepresented minorities into top leadership positions? How prevalent are diversity recruitment programs? Do they work?

  • Guest Editorial

    A long road ahead but every reason to travel with purpose

    Diversity, inclusion, and equity are important issues, not only to our nation’s cancer centers, but to our nation as a whole. To embody these values, we must work to close gaps in cancer research and care.

  • “We can’t let this issue slide into the background.”

    Directors of cancer centers reflect on the TCL-AACI data

    If we’re not diverse enough, we will lose the opportunity to learn something from the differences among us,” Rohit Bhargava, director, Cancer Center at Illinois at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign, said to The Cancer Letter. “It may not come out from the commonalities among us, and those differences might hold the key to actually developing new approaches for everyone.

  • Guest Editorial

    ASCO survey demonstrates views on cancer care amid COVID-19 and racial reckoning

    Last week, a national public perception survey from the American Society of Clinical Oncology revealed a public grappling with cancer care amid the COVID-19 pandemic and the nation’s reckoning with racial injustice.

  • NCI awards 25 grants and contracts as part of SeroNet

    NCI has awarded 25 grants and contracts as part of the Serological Sciences Network initiative.

  • 2020 Nobel Prizes

    • Jennifer A. Doudna and Emmanuelle Charpentier receive 2020 Nobel Prize in Chemistry
    • Harvey J. Alter, Michael Houghton and Charles M. Rice receive the 2020 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine for the discovery of hepatitis C virus
  • In Brief

    • Kelvin Lee named director of IU Melvin and Bren Simon Comprehensive Cancer Center
    • Jan Kitajewski named director of the University of Illinois Cancer Center
    • Ira Pastan receives Paul A. Volcker Career Achievement Medal
    • Thomas J. Fuchs named dean of artificial intelligence and human health, co-director of Hasso Plattner Institute for Digital Health at Mount Sinai
    • Kevin Kalinsky named director of Glenn Family Breast Center at Winship
    • David Gius named associate cancer center director for translational research at Mays Cancer Center
    • Sarasota Memorial Cancer receives $25 million from Brian and Sheila Jellison Family Foundation
    • Yale’s Sidi Chen receives $500,000 ACGT grant for pancreatic cancer research
    • City of Hope forms AccessHope for employers to improve care, experience, outcomes and value

     

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  • Trials & Tribulations

    Overcoming systemic barriers to improve cancer clinical trials

    One of the more complex tasks that I performed in my medical oncology practice was enrolling patients on a clinical trial.

  • Clinical Roundup

    • City of Hope leads novel clinical trial to treat cancer patients with COVID-19
    • Novel CAR T-cell lymphoma therapy developed at MCW advances to phase II study
    • MD Anderson researchers identify characteristics of infused CAR T cells associated with efficacy and toxicity in large B-cell lymphoma
    • MD Anderson researchers: Cancer mutations accumulate in distinct regions based on structure of genome and mutational causes
    • UCSD study: Personalized cancer therapy improves outcomes in advanced disease
    • Phase III CheckMate-816 trial: Opdivo + chemotherapy demonstrates improvement in pathologic CR in resectable NSCLC
  • Drugs & Targets

    • Opdivo + Yervoy receive FDA approval in mesothelioma indication
    • Regeneron asks FDA for emergency clearance for COVID-19 therapy
    • FDA issues draft guidance that encourages inclusion of premenopausal women in breast cancer clinical trials
Issue 37 - Oct 2, 2020
  • Sexual harassment reporting structures in oncology are broken, The Cancer Letter survey finds

    Women in oncology who face gender bias know what not to do: seek help from their institutions.

    survey by The Cancer Letter found that women in academic oncology who have encountered gender bias at work overwhelmingly accept the notion that their institutions will fail them, and those who do lodge complaints are, with no exception, disappointed.

  • In their own words: Responses to The Cancer Letter survey on gender bias

    These harrowing responses to The Cancer Letter’s survey on gender bias are best represented with no interpretation or analysis.

  • Conversation with The Cancer Letter

    Pamela Kunz: “In any other industry, if someone had behavior like that, they would be fired.”

    Pamela Kunz said she left Stanford School of Medicine because of years of gender-related microaggressions and verbal abuse she experienced there.

  • Conversation with The Cancer Letter

    Leonidas Platanias: These incidents are “really shocking and disturbing”

    Robert H. Lurie Comprehensive Cancer Center Director Leonidas Platanias said gender bias in oncology “is totally unacceptable at all levels. I also think it negatively impacts cancer research. These situations can affect how teams function and, ultimately, have a negative impact in research.”

  • In Brief

    • C. Kent Osborne steps down as director of Dan L Duncan Comprehensive Cancer Center
    • Ruben Mesa named executive director of the Mays Cancer Center
    • Stephen Gruber named head of City of Hope’s Center for Precision Medicine
    • Deirdre Cohen named director of Mount Sinai’s Gastrointestinal Oncology Program
    • James B. Yu named associate chief medical officer for radiation oncology at Smilow
    • Yale awarded SPORE for head and neck cancer research
    • VICC receives “exceptional” score with renewal as an NCI-designated Comprehensive Cancer Center
    • AACR convenes conference on health disparities
    • Melanoma researchers at UCLA receive $13M grant from NIH
    • Ohio State receives $10M NCI grant to study impact of COVID-19 in first responders
    • Ohio State receives $9.1M NCI Grant renewal to support cancer retrovirus research
    • Cancer genomic screening program LC-SCRUM-Asia adopts latest Thermo Fisher Scientific NGS solutions
    • ACS CAN: Executive order on pre-existing condition protections unlikely to help cancer patients and survivors
  • Funding Opportunities

    Lymphoma Research Foundation announces $10M initiative for follicular lymphoma clinical research

    The Lymphoma Research Foundation has announced the establishment of the Jaime Peykoff Follicular Lymphoma Initiative, named for follicular lymphoma survivor and wife of Andrew Peykoff II, owner of Niagara Bottling.

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  • Trials & Tribulations

    The cancer detection rate—a public health approach to early detection

    Back in the 1960s, the American Cancer Society first began promoting the Pap smear as an effective means of cervical cancer screening. A decade later, early detection of breast cancer through mammography became mainstream.

  • Clinical Roundup

    • Corticosteroids improve survival in critically ill COVID-19 patients
    • Phase III trial shows Opdivo significantly improves DFS as adjuvant therapy for muscle-invasive urothelial carcinoma
    • Yale study reinforces benefit of using targeted therapy for early-stage NSCLC
  • Drugs & Targets

    • Innova Therapeutics receives Rare Pediatric Disease Designation from FDA for IVT-8086 for Osteosarcoma
    • Celyad Oncology collaborates with MSD to evaluate CYAD-101 with Keytruda in microsatellite stable mCRC
    • University of Illinois scientists enter licensing deal with Bayer, Systems Oncology
    • Elevation Oncology and US Oncology Research collaborate to expand genomic testing of solid tumors
  • NCI Trials

    NCI Trials for Oct. 2020

    The National Cancer Institute approved the following clinical research studies last month. 

Issue 36 - Sep 25, 2020
  • IL-6 antagonists may have a role in fighting COVID-19 after all

    Earlier this year, as doctors observed that patients afflicted with the novel coronavirus were dying from a cytokine release syndrome, some suggested focusing on suppressing production of interleukin-6 to control this immune response gone haywire (The Cancer LetterMarch 24, 2020).

  • Real World Evidence

    Study of NSCLC, melanoma outcomes points to surrogacy between real-world endpoints and clinical trial endpoints

    A collaboration of 10 healthcare research organizations has demonstrated that real-world endpoints can be used to describe patient outcomes that are analogous to results generated through conventional endpoints in clinical trials.

  • Conversation with The Cancer Letter

    Vincent Vinciguerra receives NCORP 2020 Harry Hynes Award

    Vincent P. Vinciguerra, the principal investigator of the Northwell Health NCI Community Oncology Research Program, won the 2020 Harry Hynes Award.

  • AACR report: COVID struck as science was making unprecedented impact on cancer

    This year’s Cancer Progress Report from the American Association for Cancer Research provides a chilling overview of the impact COVID-19 has had on cancer.

  • In Brief

    • $111 million NIH grant awarded to prevent and treat HIV-associated cancers
    • James Bachman named chief administrative officer of Sidney Kimmel Comprehensive Cancer Center at Johns Hopkins
    • Mark Hurwitz, Valerie Csik named to new leadership rolls on quality and safety at Jefferson
    • Tess Cummings named clinical protocol office director at UNC Lineberger
    • Mount Sinai Tisch Cancer Institute earns second consecutive NCI designation
    • Case Comprehensive Cancer Center receives $10.4 million NCI grant for glioblastoma research
    • New York Proton Center opens proton therapy training program
    • Moffitt Cancer Center study educates oncologists on LGBTQ+ health concerns
  • Funding Opportunities

    Thermo Fisher Scientific to grant up to $200,000 for oncomine clinical research

    Thermo Fisher Scientific has introduced the Oncomine Clinical Research Grant Program to support clinical research projects in oncology and reproductive health.

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  • Clinical Roundup

    • Study: Black women with breast cancer experience delayed, longer treatment than whites
    • Fred Hutch-led clinical trial shows new smartphone app helps smokers quit
    • Study: Keytruda reduced the risk of distant metastasis or death versus placebo as adjuvant treatment in melanoma indication
    • Keytruda + chemotherapy demonstrated superior OS/PFS versus  chemotherapy in GEJ cancer indication
    • Phase III CheckMate -9ER trial: Opdivo + Cabometyx demonstrates significant survival benefits in advanced RCC
    • Opdivo demonstrated superior DFS in resected esophageal or gastroesophageal junction cancer compared to placebo
    • Opdivo + chemotherapy demonstrated significant OS, PFS benefits versus chemotherapy in gastric and esophageal cancers
    • Lynparza improved median PFS in BRCA-mutated advanced ovarian cancer
    • Verzenio significantly reduces risk of cancer recurrence in HR+, HER2- high risk early breast cancer
    • Padcev significantly improved OS in phase III study of urothelial cancer 
  • Drugs & Targets

    • Expanded access eRequest app allows physicians to submit EA requests online
    • FDA accepts for priority review application for anti-BCMA CAR T-cell therapy idecabtagene vicleucel (Ide-cel, bb2121)
    • Agenus begins rolling BLA submission of balstilimab to FDA for treatment of recurrent/metastatic cervical cancer
    • FDA accepts sNDA for Xalkori for pediatric ALK-positive anaplastic large cell lymphoma
    • EMA’s CHMP issues positive opinion for Zejula in ovarian cancer indication