Issue 8 - Feb 23, 2018
  • Conversation with the Cancer Letter

    His six-month “listening tour” almost over, Sharpless discusses his vision for NCI

    “The notion that cancer’s not one disease, but thousands of diseases is really starting to sink in, and the implications of that fact are being felt throughout [NCI], and it means we have to change how we do everything. I hope that the early days of the Sharpless administration will be remembered as a time when we really bought into that reality and did some things differently,” NCI Director Norman “Ned” Sharpless said in a conversation with The Cancer Letter.

  • Conversation with the Cancer Letter

    UT Health San Antonio’s link with MD Anderson goes live

    How does it work?

    The affiliation between UT Health San Antonio Cancer Center and MD Anderson Cancer Center became active on Feb. 20. “Administratively, the two institutions are distinct. Patients will be cared for by the physicians and nurses of the [San Antonio] Mays Cancer Center, but certainly the platform of the care that they’re being provided has been heavily informed and integrated with MD Anderson, based on their treatment templates and methodology,” Ruben Mesa, director of the Mays Cancer Center, said to The Cancer Letter.

  • In Brief

    • Frederick Schnell named to new post of COA medical director
    • Richard Barakat to lead Northwell Health cancer services, research
    • Denis Guttridge named director of MUSC Darby Children’s Research Institute, associate director at Hollings
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  • Trials and Tribulations

    Diversity within Diversity: Lessons from the Latinos of South Texas

    Diversity is to be celebrated in our society as enriching our experiences, our cultures and the richness of our lives. Diversity within the context of cancer care and research has appropriately grown to include considerations of diversity of race, ethnic heritage, age, gender, and experiences.

  • Clinical Roundup

    • NEJM publishes Loxo’s larotrectinib clinical data
  • Drugs and Targets

    • FDA expands approval of Imfinzi to reduce the risk of NSCLC progressing
  • NCI Protocols

    NCI trials for February

    NCI approved the following clinical research studies last month.

Issue 7 - Feb 16, 2018
  • A confusing Valentine: White House proposes cutting NIH by 27 percent, and—at the same time—reverses the cut

    What a difference a week makes.

    Last week, advocates for biomedical research were bracing for another shutdown of the federal government and fearing that the president’s budget proposal for fiscal year 2019 would drastically slash NIH.

  • NCI Director’s Report

    Sharpless: NCI should increase funding for RPG pool to maintain success rates for R01s

    NCI may need to invest at least $125 million in new money in the Research Project Grant pool in 2018 if the institute plans on keeping the success rates for R01s comparable to 2017, said NCI Director Ned Sharpless.

  • In Brief

    • NCI’s Lowy and Schiller win Szent-Györgyi Prize
    • Aldape starts as chief of laboratory of pathology at the NCI
    • Aghajanian appointed as NRG Oncology Gynecologic Cancer Committee Chair
    • Hudson named co-chair of NRG Oncology Delivery Research Committee
    • AACR’s Cancer Today magazine launches new website

     

  • Funding Opportunities

    American Cancer Society Supports Early Career Clinicians’ Move into Clinical Science

    The American Cancer Society started a grant program to support early career clinicians aiming to become clinician scientists.

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  • Trials and Tribulations

    A Cancer Patient’s War on Cancer

    Imagine a hospital ward 100 years from now. Will multi-drug resistant infections be as prominent as they are today? I suspect so, because as antibiotics evolve, so will the infectious diseases they target. It’s an arms race in which both sides have a capacity to learn and adapt. Not so cancer. Cancers can’t learn from each other. But cancer patients can. This profound imbalance in the capacity for learning is an advantage that all cancer patients share. It is our super power. And we barely use it.

  • Clinical Roundup

    • NCCN & ASCO provide joint guidance on side effects from checkpoint inhibitors
    • Phase II trial shows durvalumab active in recurrent or metastatic head and neck cancer
    • UW Carbone study finds caregiver spouses of cancer patients suffer untreated depression
  • Drugs and Targets

    • FDA approves new treatment for a certain type of prostate cancer using novel clinical trial endpoint
    • Roche to acquire Flatiron Health for $1.9 billion
    • BMS, Nektar form collaboration for CD122-biased agonist
    • Tivozanib gets NICE nod for first-line treatment of advanced RCC
Issue 6 - Feb 9, 2018
  • Dissenters in anti-tobacco movement cite National Academy report in claim that “e-cigarettes are saving lives.” Nope, the NAS report’s authors say

    A group of tobacco control advocates, one of whom receives money from Philip Morris International, issued a press release trumpeting that “E-Cigarettes are Saving Lives,” and attributed this conclusion to a recent report by the National Academy of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine.

  • Conversation with the Cancer Letter

    NTRI’s Abrams: Smokers should use e-cigarettes if they can’t quit completely

    Withholding e-cigarettes as an alternative from smokers who are unable to quit equals supporting the continued use of conventional cigarettes, said David Abrams, a member of the National Tobacco Reform Initiative.

    “The main thing you want to get across with the NASEM report and others is that smokers should absolutely try to find an e-cigarette that works for them if they can’t quit completely,” said Abrams, professor, Department of Social and Behavioral Sciences at the New York University College of Global Public Health. “The public have been very much misled and wrongly believe that e-cigarettes would not help you quit.”

  • An Appreciation

    Cancer moves fast…and we have to move faster

    Jon M. Huntsman Sr. dared to eradicate cancer from the face of the earth. People thought he was crazy, but for someone who started out delivering fresh eggs as a boy to support his family, went on to invent and then manufacture the polystyrene egg carton, and built from scratch a $12 billion global chemical company with more than 12,000 employees, there was no holding him back. Jon was a dreamer, a risk-taker, a true visionary, and a man whose compassion for others knew no limits. He didn’t sleep. His life was dedicated to making the world a better place: a world without homelessness, a world without hunger, a world without cancer.

  • Congress passes two-year budget deal, paving the way toward giving NIH a $2 billion raise

    So, the federal government shut down while America slept, but it reopened after a five-and-a-half hour pause, by early morning Feb. 9. We’ve seen this dance before.

    However, in a move that is anything but yawn-inducing, Congress passed a budget deal that paves the way toward giving NIH a $2 billion raise and lifts the spending caps on defense and non-defense spending through March 2019.

  • CRUK names ten finalists for £20m Grand Challenge

    Cancer Research UK has shortlisted ten multidisciplinary, international teams for what amounts to the second leg of competition for Grand Challenge awards.

    Each of the teams will now receive £30,000 in seed funding to prepare up their applications for interviews later this year.

  • In Brief

    • Arap, Pasqualini named to leadership posts at Rutgers Cancer Institute of New Jersey at University Hospital in Newark
    • Dhodapkar named director of new Center for Cancer Immunology at Emory Winship
    • Oberstein named director of GI medical oncology at NYU Perlmutter Cancer Center  
    • Campbell joins Fox Chase Cancer Center Cancer Biology Program
    • IU gets $14 million gift to create program focused on symptom management
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  • Clinical Roundup

    • In phase III study Tecentriq and Avastin reduced risk of disease worsening/death by 26 percent in advanced kidney cancer
    • Opdivo plus Yervoy meet PFS endpoint in phase III trial in frontline NSCLC
    • Tyme announces interim phase II data for SM-88 in prostate cancer at ASCO GU Symposium  
  • Drugs and Targets

    • FDA approves abiraterone acetate in combination with prednisone for high-risk metastatic castration-sensitive prostate cancer
    • Foundation Medicine and EORTC collaborate comprehensive genomic profiling
    • Abbott PathVysion HER-2 DNA Probe assay to be used in ANGLE study