Issue 33 - Sep 9, 2016
  • NCI’s Moonshot Advisory Panel Identifies Ten Opportunities in Cancer Research

    The Blue Ribbon Panel—a group of experts selected to identify scientific opportunities for the National Cancer Moonshot Initiative—has submitted 10 recommendations to the National Cancer Advisory Board.

    The panel proposes creating tumor atlases and national networks for patient engagement, immunotherapy clinical trials, and data sharing. Recommendations also include supporting research on drug resistance, fusion oncoproteins, symptom management, and development of cancer technologies.

    “The Blue Ribbon Panel recommendations outline a set of opportunities that, if implemented, will transform our understanding of cancer and result in new opportunities to more effectively prevent and treat the disease,” the authors write.

  • Conversation with The Cancer Letter

    Lowy: Implementation Will Depend on NCI Funding in Fiscal Year 2017 and 2018

    NCI will urge increased and sustained appropriations for carrying out ten recommendations put forward by the Blue Ribbon Panel, the institute’s scientific advisory panel to the National Cancer Moonshot Initiative.

    On Sept. 7, NCI Acting Director Douglas Lowy accepted the recommendations of the Blue Ribbon Panel, which presented its report to the National Cancer Advisory Board.

    “To the extent that NCI would be involved in making a case to Congress, we would be talking about the scientific validity of what is being recommended as a really important way of augmenting what NCI is already doing,” Lowy said.

  • FDA Warns Against Ovarian Cancer Screening

    FDA has recommended against the use of ovarian cancer screening tests, regardless of risk level.

    In a safety communication published Sept. 7, the agency warned women and their physicians against relying on “unproven” technology. No study published to date has provided reliable evidence that ovarian cancer screening saves lives, the agency said.

    “FDA is concerned that women and their physicians may be misled by such claims and rely on inaccurate results to make treatment decisions,” FDA said in a statement. “Available data do not demonstrate that currently available ovarian cancer screening tests are accurate and reliable in screening asymptomatic women for early ovarian cancer.”

  • Obituary

    Robert Frelick, Former CCOP Program Director, Dies at 96

    Robert Westscott “Dr. Bob” Frelick died Sept. 1, 2016. He passed away in his sleep after an accident and short illness. He was 96.

    Born in 1920, in Potsdam NY, Frelick graduated from Union College, Schenectady NY and received his medical degree from Yale University School of Medicine.

    He joined the U.S. Army Reserve in 1942, rising to the rank of captain. After marrying Jane Owen Hayden in 1944 and serving a medical internship at New Haven Hospital in Connecticut, he went on active duty with the U.S. Army in 1945, first assigned to Madigan General Hospital in Fort Lewis WA, and then to the Army of Occupation in Munich, Germany.

  • In Brief

    • Washington University receives $10.4 million NCI SPORE grant
    • Hollings Cancer Center receives $8 million grant from the National Institute of Minority Health and Health Disparities
    • Jacques Galipeau joins the faculty of the University of Wisconsin Carbone Cancer Center
    • Frank Vrionis to become director of Boca Raton Regional Hospital’s Marcus Neuroscience Institute
    • The National Comprehensive Cancer Network (NCCN) Oncology Research Program (ORP) awarded three grants to investigators
    • Bassel El-Rayes to hold the John Kauffman Family Professorship for Pancreatic Cancer Research
    • Michael Jan Bartel joins the Department of Medicine as a gastroenterologist at Fox Chase Cancer Center
    • Allison Aggon joins the Department of Surgical Oncology at Fox Chase Cancer Center
    • The Cincinnati Children’s/UC Health Proton Therapy Center opened with the ProBeam System from Varian Medical Systems
    • Ruth Browne to become new president and chief executive officer of the Ronald McDonald House
    • The Prostate Cancer Foundation announces five new Movember Foundation-PCF Challenge Awards
    • The American Society for Radiation Oncology selects 44 cancer researchers and clinicians to receive a total of $36,500 in individual awards 

     

  • Drugs and Targets

    • 21 hospitals across China will adopt Watson for oncology
    • Amgen acquires rights from Boehringer Ingelheim for BI 836908 (AMG 420)
    • FDA accepts Array Biopharma’s NDA for binimetinib
    • Cumberland Pharmaceuticals begins distributing Ethyol (amifostine) for injection
    • EMA accepts for review Mylan’s MAA for a proposed biosimilar trastuzumab
    • BTG International Canada receives approval from Health Canada for DC Bead LUMI
    • Palmetto GBA issues final local coverage determination for ProMark
    • Regeneron Pharmaceuticals and Adicet Bio to develop next-gen engineered immune cell therapeutics

     

Special Report - Sep 7, 2016
  • NCI’s Moonshot Advisory Panel Identifies Ten Opportunities in Cancer Research

    The Blue Ribbon Panel—a group of experts selected to identify scientific opportunities for the National Cancer Moonshot Initiative—has submitted 10 recommendations to the National Cancer Advisory Board.

    The recommendations include creating tumor atlases and national networks for patient engagement, immunotherapy clinical trials, and data sharing, and supporting research on drug resistance, fusion oncoproteins, symptom management, and development of cancer technologies.

    “The Blue Ribbon Panel recommendations outline a set of opportunities that, if implemented, will transform our understanding of cancer and result in new opportunities to more effectively prevent and treat the disease,” the authors wrote.

Issue 32 - Sep 6, 2016
  • AACI, Biden’s Task Force Eye Matching Investors With Projects at Cancer Centers

    The Association of American Cancer Institutes and the White House Cancer Moonshot Task Force are developing a new method for funding research at academic cancer centers through private investment and philanthropy.

    The move promises to establish a mechanism for matching investors with commercially viable research. It appears that this system would work separately from NCI.

  • Amgen to Pay $95 Million to Settle Suit Over Failure to Disclose Aranesp Data

    Amgen Inc. agreed to pay $95 million to settle a class action suit filed by investors who bought the company’s securities between April 2004 and May 2007. 

    The settlement ends a controversy that began on Feb. 16, 2007, when The Cancer Letter reported that Amgen didn’t disclose the results of a study called DAHANCA 10, which tested Aranesp in head and neck cancer patients in Denmark (The Cancer Letter, Feb. 16, 2007).

  • Obituary

    Nobel Laureate Roger Tsien Dies at 64

    Roger Tsien, co-winner of the 2008 Nobel Prize in chemistry and professor of pharmacology, chemistry and biochemistry at University of California San Diego School of Medicine for 27 years, died Aug. 24 in Eugene, Ore. He was 64.

    UCSD officials said Tsien died on a bike trail. The cause of his death hasn’t been determined.

  • Funding Opportunities

    DOD Publishes Instruction for Applying For $120 million in Breast Cancer Program

    The Fiscal Year 2016 Defense Appropriations Act provides $120 million to the Department of Defense Breast Cancer Research Program (BCRP) to support innovative, high-impact breast cancer research to accelerate progress toward ending breast cancer.

  • In Brief

    • Wisconsin wins head and neck SPORE

    • Robert Comis to step down from his position as group co-chair of ECOG-ACRIN Cancer Research Group
    • Jeff Allen named president and CEO of Friends of Cancer Research
    • The American Association for Cancer Research established award in honor of Waun Ki Hong
    • James Morgan named scientific director and executive vice president of St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital
    • Michael Maitland to direct therapeutics for Inova Center for Personalized Health
    • Scripps Health and MD Anderson Cancer Center reached partnership agreement to create Scripps MD Anderson Cancer Center
    • Peyton Anderson Cancer Center joined the Winship Cancer Network
    • Montefiore Health System and SBH Health System agreed to explore a closer integrated relationship
    • The Cancer Prevention & Research Institute of Texas awarded 26 new grants totaling just over $61.5 million
  • Drugs and Targets

    • Novartis and MEI Pharma receive breakthrough therapy designations
    • Exact Sciences Corp. said the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services issued an updated Evidence of Coverage notice for Medicare Advantage plans 
    • Biolinerx Ltd. and MD Anderson Cancer Center signed collaboration agreement 
    • Apotex Corp. launched imatinib mesylate tablets
    • Janssen Biotech Inc. submitted supplemental Biologics License Application for daratumumab (Darzalex) to FDA
    • The Department of Pathology at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai established the Center for Computational and Systems Pathology