Issue 15 - Apr 14, 2017
Issue 14 - Apr 7, 2017
  • Biden: Trump’s cuts would set back cancer research by 15 years

    A budget proposed by President Donald Trump would set NIH and biomedical research back 15 years, said former Vice President Joe Biden, addressing members of the American Association for Cancer Research on April 3.

  • Biden pledges to remain a player in oncopolitics, plans to launch cancer initiative

    Former Vice President Joe Biden said he plans to launch the Biden Cancer Initiative, which would focus on data sharing, quality of cancer care, patient access, and increasing participation in clinical trials.

  • Guest Editorial

    Oregon’s Death with Dignity Act: Learning from 18 years of data on physician-aided dying

    Oncologists must confront end-of-life issues on a nearly daily basis. Our approach to the potential death of a patient may change over time, however, depending on the patients’ diagnosis and stage, where those patients are in their treatment plan, and, of course, what the patients’ wishes are. When feasible, our primary goal is to prevent death from cancer, and when we cannot achieve that, we try to delay death as long as we can. When dying seems inevitable, we do our best to make it as comfortable as possible.

  • In Brief

    • Michael Caligiuri starts term as AACR president
    • SU2C names researchers to $12 Million “Dream Team” on colorectal cancer
    • BMS gives SU2C to $7.5 million to fund immuno-oncology grants
    • David Sabatini wins FNIH Lurie Prize in Biomedical Sciences
    • Jennifer Pietenpol named chief scientific advisor for Susan G. Komen
    • Mark Soberman becomes president of ACCC
    • Biocept, OHSU announce collaboration to increase clinical use of liquid biopsy
    • Sylvester, Syapse to launch precision medicine initiative
    • Invitae starts Patient Insights Network to enable sharing of health information
    • LLS Commits $4 Million to Forty Seven Inc.
    • NCCN imaging appropriate use criteria published for 13 additional guidelines
  • Drugs and Targets

    • Novartis drug combination Tafinlar + Mekinist receives EU approval for BRAF V600-positive advanced NSCLC
    • FDA accepts for review the application of Ibrutinib for cGVHD after failure of systemic therapy
    • Amgen seeks to expand XGEVA indications to multiple myeloma in the US, Europe
    • RedHill receives orphan drug designation for Yeliva
    • ESSA Pharma receives $1.2 million grant payment from CPRIT
    • Oncora Medical cooperate on precision radiation oncology
Issue 13 - Mar 31, 2017
  • Conversation with the Cancer Letter

    Amy Abernethy: I want health IT companies to have an honest conversation about data sharing

    It’s fair to say that eight years ago, when the Obama administration infused the economy with $800 billion in stimulus funding, policymakers likely did not expect the health information technology industry to evolve into fiefdoms guarded by legions of lawyers and walls of proprietary code.

  • Genentech’s rituximab SC received unanimous ODAC approval recommendation

    The FDA Oncologic Drugs Advisory Committee March 29 unanimously recommended approval of a lymphoma treatment, to be administered via subcutaneous injection.

  • In Brief

    • Carlo Croce to receive 2017 AACR Margaret Foti Award for leadership, achievements in research
    • Roger Lo to receive AACR-Waun Ki Hong award for outstanding achievement in cancer research
    • Bezos family donates $35M to Fred Hutchinson
    • Cancer death rates continue to decrease
    • NCCN publishes Radiation Therapy Compendium
    • NCCN Foundation awards grants to four young investigators
    • Friends launches ProgressForPatients.org
    • Health coalition forms National Lung Cancer Roundtable
    • Columbia, New York-Presbyterian, FNIH enter research collaboration
    • The Mikey Czech Foundation Contributes $1 Million To DIPG Research at Dana-Farber
    • Jeffrey Ravetch gets Ross Prize in Molecular Medicine
    • Alan Bernstein awarded Friesen prize
  • Drugs and Targets

    • FDA approves AstraZeneca’s Tagrisso for EGFR mutation-positive NSCLC
    • FDA approves niraparib for epithelial ovarian, fallopian tube, or primary peritoneal cancer
    • Gamida Cell receives EMA orphan drug designation for NiCord
    • Cota, Novartis form collaboration to advance real-world evidence in breast cancer therapies
    • Novartis CAR-T cell therapy for pediatric r/r B-cell ALL gets FDA Priority Review
    • BMS, Foundation Medicine form collaboration to identify predictive biomarkers across tumor types, immunotherapy agents
    • AbbVie, M2Gen announce collaboration for the ORIEN Avatar Research Program
Issue 12 - Mar 24, 2017
Issue 11 - Mar 17, 2017
Issue 10 - Mar 10, 2017
  • DePinho resigns as MD Anderson president, acknowledges shortcomings as administrator

    Ronald DePinho announced on March 8 that he will be stepping down as president of MD Anderson Cancer Center.

    DePinho’s five-and-a-half years at the helm of the world’s largest cancer center were marked by unprecedented turbulence, questions of conflicts of interest, and unhappiness on the part of the faculty.

  • House Republicans publish legislation for replacing Obamacare with Trumpcare

    The House Republicans on March 6 published the Obamacare repeal bill, touching off predictable tidal waves of recriminations, with Democrats stating that the bill would “rip healthcare away from millions of Americans, ration care for working families and seniors, and put insurance companies back in charge of healthcare decisions”

  • Note to international travelers: U.S. customs can take your laptop and ask for passwords

    As spring meetings get going, many cancer organizations are offering what amounts to packing tips, suggesting that some electronic devices are best left at home.

  • In Brief

    • Lynch steps in as CSO at Bristol-Myers Squibb
    • Pharma companies collaborate in NCCN’s multi-industry project
    • NCCN “Just Bag It!” campaign shoots for 100 new adopters by end of conference
    • Targeted Anticancer Therapies Congress becomes an annual ESMO Event
    • ASCO and ONS launch collaboration to advance engagement in CancerLinQ
    • Siteman Cancer Center launches network with affiliation of Boone hospital
  • Drugs and Targets

    • NICE recommends Vectibix for previously untreated metastatic colorectal cancer
    • EnGeneIC receives Orphan designation for its technology in glioblastoma multiforme
    • German Community of Gynecological Oncology acknowledges MammaPrint as having Level 1A clinical evidence 
Issue 9 - Mar 3, 2017
  • Conversation with The Cancer Letter

    Steve Hahn and his plan for rescuing MD Anderson

    Steve Hahn didn’t apply for the job of Chief Operating Officer at MD Anderson Cancer Center. In fact, there was no COO job to apply to, and conversations that preceded the announcement of his new role took less than a week.

  • Medicare payment in January helps MD Anderson reduce its operating losses

    MD Anderson Cancer Center reduced its year-to-date operating loss to $77.3 million in January, the fifth month of the fiscal year.

  • Cancer groups to Trump: FDA’s oncology division is NOT “slow and cumbersome”

    FDA’s approval process for drugs is “slow and cumbersome,” President Donald Trump said in his first address to a joint session of Congress on Feb. 28.

  • In Brief

    • Karmanos, Wayne State receive grant to conduct nation’s largest study of factors affecting African Americans with cancer
    • Feldman named chief of breast surgery & surgical oncology, director of breast cancer services at Montefiore and Einstein
    • Michael Rosen named chief communications officer at Pancreatic Cancer Action Network
    • Open Science Prize goes to software tool for tracking viral outbreaks
    • Fred Hutchinson announces Harold M. Weintraub Graduate Student Award winners
    • Boehringer Ingelheim, Vanderbilt expand collaboration to tackle hard-to-treat cancers
    • iKnowMed recognized as No. 1 oncology EHR by Black Book Research
    • CTCA, Allscripts, NantHealth to launch clinical pathways, custom oncology treatment platform
    • Blackfynn and CHOP expand partnership for data integration and analysis in pediatric brain tumors
  • Drugs and Targets

    • FDA approves Xermelo as first and only treatment for carcinoid syndrome diarrhea
    • FDA Accepts avelumab BLA for Priority Review for urothelial carcinoma
    • BMS expands International Immuno-Oncology Network with addition of Columbia and MacCallum Cancer Centre
    • Exelixis, BMS collaborate on late-stage combination trial in first-line RCC
    • Exelixis, Roche to evaluate cabozantinib and atezolizumab in solid tumors
    • Advaxis, SELLAS announce licensing agreement to develop antigen-targeting immunotherapy
Issue 8 - Feb 24, 2017
Issue 7 - Feb 17, 2017
  • Audit: Lynda Chin’s abandoned $62 million IBM Watson collaboration didn’t follow standard procedures

    An audit of an abandoned mega-project run by IBM Watson and MD Anderson Cancer Center found that the Houston-based institution skirted the UT System’s procurement regulations as it spent $62.1 million on an ill-fated artificial intelligence system.

  • Is it research or run-of-the-mill IT?

    The UT System report on the Oncology Expert Advisor Project raises questions about classification of development of artificial intelligence systems.

    Are they research or are they IT systems?

  • Guest Editorial

    The AACI Network Care Initiative

    Many cancer center hospital systems are expanding their services across large geographic regions, while cancer care is consolidating around ever enlarging groups.

    Over the next two years, as I serve as president of the Association of American Cancer Institutes, I will be leading an initiative to better define these networks and to develop methods of improving the quality of cancer care administered across individual cancer center networks, with better integration of treatment services, especially those now unique to our centers, into the community.

  • In Brief

    • Salk scientist awarded $500K Swedish prize
    • Prostate Cancer Foundation awards $8.6 million to eight teams
    • U.S. Preventive Services Task Force appoints three new members
    • BTG and Society of Interventional Oncology to explore role of minimally invasive therapies in immuno-oncology
    • Perthera, Hope for Stomach Cancer to provide patient services
    • RPRD Diagnostics, Children’s Minnesota to advance clinical pharmacogenomics
    • Jeffery Kutok named chief scientific officer at Infinity
    • CVS Health earns CEO Cancer Gold Standard accreditation
  • Drugs and Targets

    • Amgen submits Supplemental Biologics License Application for Blincyto
    • Pan-Canadian Pharmaceutical Alliance, BMS reach agreement on Opdivo
    • Immunomedics enters into licensing agreement with Seattle Genetics for Sacituzumab Govitecan
  • Funding Opportunities

    PCRP announces research awards application guidelines

    The Department of Defense Prostate Cancer Research Program is pre-announcing the application process for its funding awards even though due to the current Continuing Resolution, the Fiscal Year 2017 Defense Appropriations bill has not been passed to allow investigators time to plan and develop ideas for submission to the anticipated FY17 funding opportunities.

Issue 6 - Feb 10, 2017
  • MMRF contributes largest disease-specific cancer genome dataset to NCI’s Genomic Data Commons

    It took the Multiple Myeloma Research Foundation nearly a decade and over $40 million to create what the foundation describes as the largest disease-specific cancer genome dataset in existence.

    The first installment of the dataset is now posted on NCI’s Genomic Data Commons, which places the information in the public domain, making it available to researchers.

  • Conversation with The Cancer Letter

    Giusti: The $40 million multiple myeloma dataset will help predict risk and clinical response

    The world’s biggest genomic database on multiple myeloma is being integrated into NCI’s Genomic Data Commons.

    The data on the second most common blood cancer—with genomic information from about 1,400 patients—was compiled by the Multiple Myeloma Research Foundation through a genome mapping initiative and a $40 million network of clinical trials.

  • Steve Hahn takes over day to day operations at MD Anderson

    Steve Hahn, a radiation oncologist, was named deputy to the president and chief operating officer at MD Anderson Cancer Center.

  • GAO report: FDA underestimated actual cancer risk, clearing 25 versions of morcellators in over 20 years

    The Government Accountability Office Feb. 8 released an analysis of FDA’s failure to detect the health hazards of power morcellation, a once widely used procedure that has been shown to upstage uterine cancers.

  • In Brief

    • International teams win £100 million in Cancer Research UK competition 
    • Horning receives Duane Roth Memorial Award
    • Chang and Moore win Ehrlich-Darmstaedter Prize
    • ESMO to present new award at first annual Immuno-Oncology Congress
    • Jupiter Medical Center to use IBM Watson for Oncology technology
    • Fox Chase, Temple earn accreditation for BMT program
    • Cota, Hackensack integrate patient data into Epic EHR system
    • NCCN creates Quick Guide for patients with Waldenström’s Macroglobulinemia
  • Drugs & Targets

    • FDA approves Opdivo for urothelial carcinoma indication
    • GenomeDx, Astellas work to identify genomic drivers of Xtandi response
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