Issue 18 - May 5, 2017
  • Officials who fired Beckerle out at University of Utah as tables turn

    Two weeks ago, Vivian Lee and David Pershing attempted to oust Mary Beckerle from her job at Huntsman Cancer Institute.

    Now, Beckerle is back to being the CEO and director at Huntsman, while Lee is no longer the senior vice president for health sciences at the University of Utah. Lee’s boss, Pershing, too, is stepping down as soon as a new president is recruited.

  • Congress approves $2 billion increase for NIH in FY17 omnibus but FDA cancer center remains unfunded in legislative glitch

    After seven months of continuing resolutions, Congress voted to pass a $1.1 trillion spending bill covering the remainder of the fiscal year 2017—approving a $2 billion increase for NIH.

  • Impact of Proposed Cuts to NIH Budget: More Than Just About Cancer

    If enacted, the proposed budget reduction of $5.8 billion to the National Institutes of Health will slow research, deprive patients afflicted with cancer of hope, and deliver a devastating blow to our science workforce and the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. This proposed reduction directly counters the wisdom of the U.S. Congress, who less than a year ago overwhelmingly passed the 21st Century Cures Act.

  • Faculty Senate Chair Julie Izzo: MD Anderson has evolved beyond “autocratic structure”

    MD Anderson, through its Shared Governance Committee,  is moving away from an “autocratic” structure, said Julie Izzo, chair of the Faculty Senate and an associate professor in Translational Molecular Pathology at MD Anderson Cancer Center.

  • In Brief

    • Stephen Gruber steps down as director at USC Norris
    • Bhavesh Ashar named to lead U.S. oncology business at Bayer
    • UAB expands cancer navigation program nationally with Guideway Care
    • Paul Goldberg finalist for Sami Rohr Prize
  • Drugs and Targets

    • FDA grants an accelerated approval for AstraZeneca’s Imfinzi for urothelial carcinoma
    • Draft Local Coverage Determination favorable to Oncotype DX Genomic Prostate Score
    • Opdivo gets European approval for squamous cell head and neck cancer
Issue 17 - Apr 28, 2017
  • Beckerle reinstated as director of Huntsman Cancer Institute

    A week after her abrupt firing, Mary Beckerle is back in her job as director and CEO of the Huntsman Cancer Institute.

    The remarkable turnaround comes eight days after the same leadership fired Beckerle—a highly regarded scientist who has led the cancer center since 2006—with no justification other than that she serves at the pleasure of the senior vice president for health sciences (The Cancer Letter, April 21).

  • U of Utah department chairs urge colleagues to sign petition supporting Vivian Lee

    The text of the petition follows:

    This is a critical moment. It is bigger than any one of us and it will have implications for our university and health system for years—maybe decades—to come.

    If we let the commentary and mis-characterizations of the past week go unchecked, our institution, reputation, and leadership will be damaged beyond repair.

  • Soon-Shiong and The Art of the Deal:

    Billionaire gives $12M to the U of Utah, takes $10M in orders for his company

    Under ordinary circumstances, a $12 million gift from a charitable foundation to a university is a cause for celebration.

    Indeed, in September 2014, the university put on considerable hoopla to mark a gift from three charitable entities connected to the pharmaceuticals billionaire Patrick Soon-Shiong (The Cancer Letter, April 21).

  • Tom Curran: Contract between NantHealth and U of Utah “seems a bit expensive”

    Starting in 2008, I worked closely with Peter Phillips to establish the Children’s Brain Tumor Tissue Consortium designed to generate a biorepository of rare biospecimens, with associated clinical information and genomic data, that could be shared with the research community.

  • Conversation with The Cancer Letter

    No future collaborations with NantHealth are planned, U of Utah says

    The Cancer Letter sent the following questions to the University of Utah and a nearly identical list of questions to Soon-Shiong’s spokesperson. Julie Kiefer, manager, scientific communications at the University of Utah, provided responses to these questions. No response was received from Soon-Shiong’s offices.

  • In Brief

    • SU2C awards $1 million to four research teams through Phillip A. Sharp Awards
    • Aurora Cancer Care launches precision medicine program
    • Cold Spring Harbor to collaborate with Chan Zuckerberg Initiative
    • Jason Chesney named director of University of Louisville
    • Kimberly Stegmaier wins St. Baldrick’s Foundation Arceci Innovation Award
    • Lori Brown named ONS’s first chief experience officer
    • Western IRB, Huron form alliance to serve research programs at academic centers
  • Drugs and Targets

    • FDA approves midostaurin combination for AML; Companion diagnostic also approved
    • FDA expands indications for regorafinib in hepatocellular carcinoma
    • FDA grants accelerate approval for brigatinib for ALK-positive NSCLC
    • FDA takes action against 14 companies for selling illegal cancer treatments
    • DelMar collaborates with Duke to study VAL-083 as front-line GBM treatment
Issue 16 - Apr 21, 2017