20160603 - Jun 3, 2016
ISSUE 22 – June 3, 2016PDF



Obama and Congress Inadvertently
Created Obstacles to Data Sharing, Biden Acknowledges—Now What?

Seven years ago, when Congress sought to jumpstart the U.S. economy, few imagined that one aspect of the $800 billion stimulus program would turn electronic health records into the Tower of Babel.

Speaking at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center last week, Vice President Joe Biden took full responsibility for the major bioinformatics snafu triggered by the American Reinvestment and Recovery Act of 2009.

True, ARRA forced the U.S. medical establishment to digitize records in a hurry. Alas, today, fax machines and legions of data entry technicians are often required to transfer patient records from one hospital to another.

Biden said the Obama administration didn’t foresee the consequences of mandating the switch to EHRs without developing a standard infrastructure for aggregating data.

Biden: “You’re All Doing the Same Thing!”

At a roundtable discussion at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, Vice President Joe Biden urged greater efforts to aggregate cancer data.

“I know MSK is part of Project GENIE and part of data sharing coalitions,” Biden said at the meeting May 26. “But I’ve met also with ORIEN, I’ve met with CancerLinQ.”

“You’re all doing the same thing! I find it curious. I don’t know if that’s the only way it that can be done.”

University of Maryland Cancer Center
Earns NCI Comprehensive Designation

The University of Maryland Marlene and Stewart Greenebaum Cancer Center has earned a designation as an NCI-designated Comprehensive Cancer Center. The center announced the NCI designation May 31.

On Aug. 1, when the designation goes in effect, Maryland will become one of the 46 Comprehensive Cancer Centers in the U.S.

ASCO Updates Value Framework

The American Society of Clinical Oncology published an updated framework for assessing the relative value of cancer therapies that have been compared in clinical trials.

The framework defines value as a combination of clinical benefit, side effects, and improvement in patient symptoms or quality of life in the context of cost. The updated framework will be the basis for a software tool that doctors can use to assist shared decision-making with their patients. The update was published in the Journal of Clinical Oncology.

Study: 70 Cancer Treatments Launched Over 5 Years Pushes Oncology Market to $107 Billion

A study reviewing trends in oncology found that more than 20 tumor types are being treated with one or more of the 70 cancer treatments that have been launched in the past five years.

The surge in new therapies drove the global oncology market to $107 billion in 2015, an 11.5 percent increase over the previous year in constant dollars.

 

Funding Opportunity

CDMRP Taking Pre-Applications
For Lung Cancer Concept Award

Only 40 percent of Americans have a positive overall impression of clinical trials, according to a national survey conducted for Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center.

The survey, which polled over 2,100 people including nearly 600 physicians, found that 28 percent of doctors considered clinical trials as treatments of last resort.

Letter to the Editor

Progress Against Cancer:
It Comes in Waves and Ripples

By Silvia Paddock

In 1916, Albert Einstein predicted the existence of gravitational waves. It took almost 100 years and the construction of the Laser Interferometer Gravitational-Wave Observatory (LIGO) to show that he was right. In 2015, a brilliant team of researchers detected gravitational ripples that had been generated by the collision of two black holes about 1.3 billion years ago.

In Brief
  • Ralph De Vere White to step down as director of UC Davis Cancer Center
  • FDA publishes two guidances on compassionate use

  • ACCC launches Metastatic Breast Cancer Project

Drugs and Targets
  • FDA approves cobas EGFR companion blood test for Tarceva

  • FDA approves NETSPOT for neuroendocrine tumors

  • European Commission approves Afinitor, Imbruvica
  • FDA grants orphan designations to Debio 1143 and SUBA-Itraconazole Capsules

  • Mylan launches generic version of Vidaza Injection

  • FDA grants Priority Review of telotristat etiprate in carcinoid syndrome

 

20160531 - May 31, 2016
MAY 31, 2016 

University of Maryland Cancer Center Earns Comprehensive Designation

The University of Maryland Marlene and Stewart Greenebaum Cancer Center has earned the designation as an NCI-designated Comprehensive Cancer Center.

The center announced the NCI designation May 31.

On Aug. 1, when the designation goes in effect, Maryland will become one of the 46 Comprehensive Cancer Centers in the U.S.

    20160527 - May 27, 2016
    ISSUE 21 – May 27, 2016PDF



    Slamming the Door – Part XIII

    Chair of CPRIT Oversight Committee:

    “Better to Get Them All Out of the Way Now”

    What were Texas politicians and CPRIT officials thinking as they were pounded by blistering letters of resignation?

    Condemnation seemed to be rolling off their backs as they marched toward what they thought was their great triumph.

    Jimmy Mansour, chairman of CPRIT’s oversight committee, mistakenly hit Reply All, sending an especially contemptuous email to a scientist who was announcing his resignation from CPRIT. In the email that came into public view because of his sloppiness, Mansour, a telecommunications entrepreneur, belittles scientists and the peer review process.

    Conversation with The Cancer Letter

    Candace Johnson: A New Vision for Roswell Park

    Since Candace Johnson’s appointment as president and CEO of the Roswell Park Cancer Institute in February 2015, the institute has recruited 22 new faculty members and promoted 19 faculty members into senior leadership positions.

    “I’m a new leader. I have a new style, a new vision of where Roswell Park is going,” Johnson, the Wallace Family Chair in Translational Research, said to The Cancer Letter. “We have new and different challenges, and unless my entire workforce understood these challenges and embraced the changes I’ve been implementing, we wouldn’t have a chance.”

    ASCO Cervical Cancer Guideline Addresses Global Disparities

    The American Society of Clinical Oncology issued its first clinical practice guideline for invasive cervical cancer.

    The guideline provides evidence-based recommendations for four tiers based on available resources for cervical cancer screening and treatment: basic, limited, enhanced and maximal. For each setting, and for each stage of cervical cancer, the guideline recommends optimal therapy and palliative care. The guideline was published in the Journal of Global Oncology and was endorsed by the Society of Gynecologic Oncology.

    Survey: 28 Percent of Doctors See Clinical Trials as Last Resort

    Only 40 percent of Americans have a positive overall impression of clinical trials, according to a national survey conducted for Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center.

    The survey, which polled over 2,100 people including nearly 600 physicians, found that 28 percent of doctors considered clinical trials as treatments of last resort.

    In Brief
    • Northwestern to host 5k coinciding with ASCO’s annual meeting in Chicago
    • The Canadian Cancer Society and Merck to collaborate on New Horizons project

    • American Skin Association presents annual awards

    • Margaret Foti honored by Ovarcome foundation

    • Seattle Children’s and Juno Therapeutics to collaborate on T-cell immunotherapies

    • Memorial Sloan Kettering and Hunter Douglas establish graduate fellowship

    • University of Chicago and Blue Cross and Blue Shield launch oncology medical home

    • Lightpoint Medical signs agreement for Beta Emission Tomography technology from University of Arizona researchers

    Drugs and Targets
    • CHMP issues positive opinion for Kyprolis in multiple myeloma

    • ProNAi Therapeutics and Carna Biosciences to commercialize AS-141