20160408 - Apr 4, 2016
ISSUE 14 – April 8, 2016PDF



Jacks, Jaffee, Singer Named Co-Chairs of NCI’s Moonshot Blue Ribbon Panel

NCI announced a panel of advisors to inform the scientific direction and goals of Vice President Joe Biden’s National Cancer Moonshot Initiative.

The 28-member Blue Ribbon Panel, a committee of scientific experts, cancer leaders, and patient advocates, will serve as the working group of the National Cancer Advisory Board and provide scientific guidance from opinion leaders in the cancer community.

 

FDA Allows Containment Bags for Power Morcellators; Paper Reports Leakage

FDA granted permission to an Irish company to market the “PneumoLiner,” a first-of-its-kind containment system indicated for isolating and containing uterine tissue during a minimally invasive hysterectomy or myomectomy. The agency announced its action April 7.

Gynecologists will soon be able to use the containment system—designed to prevent dissemination of potentially cancerous tissue—with specific models of power morcellators to conduct laparoscopic surgery in a limited population of women.

ORIEN Partners with Pharma Companies to Develop Precision Medicines with Big Data

The Oncology Research Information Exchange Network and M2Gen formed a bioinformatics collaboration with Celgene Corp.

The partnership, announced April 7, is called the ORIEN Avatar Research Program. The initiative is managed by M2Gen and is designed to generate large amounts of genetic and clinical information on patients consenting to the Total Cancer Care Protocol, a standard operating protocol used by ORIEN member institutions.

Caligiuri Named President-Elect of AACR

Michael Caligiuri was named president-elect by the members of the American Association for Cancer Research. He will officially become president-elect at the AACR’s annual meeting in New Orleans, April 16-20, and will assume the presidency at the 2017 annual meeting.

Caligiuri is director of The Ohio State University Comprehensive Cancer Center and CEO of the Arthur G. James Cancer Hospital and Richard J. Solove Research Institute. He holds the John L. Marakas Nationwide Insurance Enterprise Foundation chair in cancer research and is a professor in The Ohio State University College of Medicine Departments of Molecular Virology, Immunology and Medical Genetics and Internal Medicine.

In Brief
  • Timothy Eberlein elected Chairman of NCCN Board of Directors

  • Carbone Cancer Center joins NCCN as member institution

  • Larry Kwak wins 2013 Ho-Am Prize in Medicine

  • Joel Helmke named senior vice president of operations at City of Hope
  • Anne Jadwin honored by Sigma Theta Tau nursing honor society

  • Paul Bushdid joins Southern Research

  • Dana Farber and Ontario Institute for Cancer Research join OHSU and Intel’s data cloud program

  • RareCyte signs CRADA with NCI

  • IBM launches Watson center in Milan, Italy

  • Schulman IRB selected for Cancer MoonShot 2020 program
Drugs and Targets
  • EU approves two-dose schedule for Gardasil 9

  • Halaven receives positive opinion from CHMP in liposarcomas

  • OncoBEAM RAS CRC test receives CE mark

  • University of Chicago and Evelo Biosciences enters licensing agreement
20160401 - Apr 1, 2016
ISSUE 13 – April 1, 2016PDF



NCI Makes Plans for Moonshot Dollars

At a meeting of the NCI Board of Scientific Advisors March 29, NCI officials had good news to report:

• The appropriations are increasing, with bipartisan support to boot.

• The White House “moonshot” initiative on cancer is bringing new money and new urgency to the institute’s work.

The cancer program has seen many aggressive mandates and has made many big promises, and it’s worthwhile to remember this current initiative is being launched by an administration that is concluding its term.

 

AVEO Execs Face Fraud Charges from SEC;

Company to Pay $4 Million to Settle

The Securities and Exchange Commission March 29 announced fraud charges against AVEO Pharmaceuticals Inc., a biotechnology company, and three of its former executives.

SEC said the company agreed to pay a $4 million penalty to settle the charges without admitting or denying the allegations.

The agency said it is continuing to pursue its case against three of AVEO’s former officers: CEO Tuan Ha-Ngoc, Chief Financial Officer David Johnston, and Chief Medical Officer William Slichenmyer.

Schools of Public Health: Cancer Moonshot Undervalues Prevention

Over 70 deans and directors of public health programs and institutes signed a letter March 21 asking the White House for to prioritize federal investments in public health and cancer prevention.

The letter, addressed to Vice President Joe Biden, urges the administration to “pay careful attention to the balance between treatment and prevention-related investments.”

In Brief
  • Dinah Singer and Warren Kibbe named acting NCI deputy directors

  • Peter Paul Yu named physician-in-chief at Hartford HealthCare Cancer Institute

  • Greg Simon named executive director of national cancer moonshot initiative

  • Johns Hopkins launches Bloomberg-Kimmel Institute for Cancer Immunotherapy
  • Hyundai Hope on Wheels announces $1 million in pediatric research grants

  • MD Anderson and TESARO form immuno-oncology collaboration

Drugs and Targets
  • FDA publishes draft guidance on biosimilar product labeling

  • FDA approves Defitelio for veno-occlusive disease following transplantation

  • FDA grants Orphan Drug Designation to Iomab-B

 

20160325 - Mar 25, 2016
ISSUE 12 – MARCH 25, 2016PDF



Clifford Hudis Named CEO of ASCO

Clifford Hudis was named CEO of the American Society of Clinical Oncology.

Hudis, who served as ASCO president in 2013 and 2014, is chief of Breast Medicine Service as well as vice president for government relations and chief advocacy officer at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center.

Hudis, 56, will start the job at the society’s headquarters in Alexandria, Va., June 27. He will succeed Allen Lichter, who is retiring after having held that job for ten years.

 

NEJM Editors: There Will Be No Clarification For Disputed Power Morcellation Story

The New England Journal of Medicine said it stands by the story that has triggered investigations of a potential breach of patient confidentiality.

In a paper that criticized FDA’s regulatory actions that effectively ended power morcellation in gynecology, Lisa Rosenbaum, an NEJM national correspondent, made a statement that some readers interpreted as suggesting that she had access to confidential patient information (The Cancer Letter, March 18).

Rosenbaum is a cardiologist at Brigham & Women’s Hospital, the institution where Amy Reed—a patient who brought national attention to the harm associated with the procedure—underwent her ill-fated hysterectomy. 

Slamming the Door

Part IX – “Furnituregate”

I first heard something about a red sofa that cost an impressive amount of money soon after I started to cover the controversy at the Cancer Prevention and Research Institute of Texas.

The sofa, I was told, was to be purchased with MD Anderson funds for the office of Lynda Chin. I wanted to look into it, but I want to look into many things, and some take precedence over others. This seemed to be fun, but it was undeniably trivial.

The sofa in question was intended for the same entity CPRIT was being asked to fund. Had I been able to get it through my thick skull that the furniture was a part of the same story that was causing the ungluing of CPRIT, I would have filed my freedom of information requests sooner.

NCCN Launches Evidence Blocks as Part of its Guidelines

The National Comprehensive Cancer Network launched its value tool, NCCN Evidence Blocks, which will be presented at its annual conference, March 31 to April 2.

NCCN has published two additional resources since its 2015 meeting: the NCCN Framework and the NCCN Quick Guide Series for patients.

In Brief
  • Maha Hussain joins Northwestern University Lurie Cancer Center

  • Jean-Yves Douillard appointed chief medical officer of ESMO

  • Karmanos promotes five scientific staff members

  • Jennifer Pietenpol receives award from T.J. Martell Foundation
  • Pediatric Oncologist Dennis Hughes pleads guilty to collecting child pornography

  • American Cancer Society receives $1.58 million grant from The Merck Foundation

  • MD Anderson submits plan to comply with Texas “Campus Carry” gun law 

  • The Cancer Letter’s coverage of power morcellation named a finalist in the 2015 Best in Business Awards for Outstanding Business Journalism
Drugs and Targets
  • FDA Approves Roche Hepatits C RNA Test

  • UPenn and Genisphere form photodynamic therapy collaboration