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
Issue 31 - Aug 5, 2016
  • MD Anderson (Again) On Top
    of U.S. News and World Report Ranking

    The U.S. News & World Report rankings of the best cancer hospitals for 2016 brought no great surprises. The top four remained unchanged from last year:

    1) MD Anderson Cancer Center

    2) Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center

    3) Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minn.

    4) Dana-Farber/Brigham and Women’s Cancer Center

    There was a change in the No. 5 slot: UCLA Medical Center. Last year, the Seattle Cancer Alliance and University of Washington Medical Center held that position. MD Anderson placed first nine times in the past 10 years.

  • News Analysis

    The Quantified Impact of Reputation On the U.S. News Best Hospital List

    League tables like those published by U.S. News and World Report should probably be taken with a pinch of salt in any case, but it is the self-marketing of these tables that is just a bit problematic.

    USNWR underlines that “rankings were developed…to help consumers determine which hospitals provide the best care…” and are based on “hard data.” That may be a stretch.

  • An Appreciation

    Gregory Curt, Clinician and Drug Developer, Dies at 64

    Greg Curt died last Sunday. For us in oncology, this one was especially personal. He was a wonderful, generous young man. Greg was a beloved friend and colleague. He was an accomplished cancer researcher and leader in oncology who died of the disease we treat.

    The standard obituary reads that he was born in 1952 in Fall River, Mass. He graduated from Providence College and the University of Rochester School of Medicine. He did residency at New England Deaconess Hospital and a fellowship in medical oncology at the NCI.

  • Nature Editorial Urges Congress To Pass RACE for Children Act

  • In Brief

    • UT Southwestern receives $11 million SPORE grant for kidney cancer program
    • Dana-Farber to get over $100 million for PD-L1 royalty interests
    • University of Pittsburgh Cancer Institute gets NCI preclinical research contract
    • Pierre Massion to direct Vanderbilt-Ingram’s early detection initiative
    • Christopher Manley and Kristen Scully Manley join Fox Chase
    • Natascia Marino named Breast Cancer Research Foundation Investigator at Indiana University
    • Vanderbilt-Ingram receives $3 million grant from Kleberg Foundation
    • Community Oncology Alliance launches Advanced Practice Provider Network
  • Drugs and Targets

    • FDA grants Breakthrough Designation to LEE011 in metastatic breast cancer
    • FDA and CMS to undergo parallel review of FoundationOne genomic assay
    • Advanced Accelerator Applications and NCI form clinical trial agreement
    • Cellectar Biosciences Inc. receives second-phase of NCI SBIR award

    The Cancer Letter will return Sept. 2, after a short publication break

Special Report - Aug 1, 2016
  • MD Anderson (Again) On Top
    of U.S. News and World Report Ranking

    The U.S. News & World Report rankings of the best cancer hospitals for 2016 brought no great surprises. The top four cancer centers did not change from last year:

    1) MD Anderson Cancer Center,

    2) Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center,

    3) Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minn. and

    4) Dana-Farber/Brigham and Women’s Cancer Center.

    There was a change in this year’s No. 5 slot: UCLA Medical Center. Last year, it was the Seattle Cancer Alliance and University of Washington Medical Center

    Though the system used by U.S. News isn’t regarded as scientific, directors of cancer centers and folks in marketing pay close attention to even the smallest of changes in the standing of their institutions.