20140221 - Feb 21, 2014
ISSUE 8 – FEB. 21, 2014PDF

NCI Launches M-PACT Next-Generation Trial As Group System Nears March 1 Transition

NCI has launched a pilot study to assess whether assigning cancer patients treatment based on the genetic characteristics of their disease can improve outcomes for patients with advanced metastatic solid tumors.

The Molecular Profiling based Assignment of Cancer Therapeutics, or M-PACT, trial is one of the first to use a randomized trial design to assign treatment based on specific mutations.

photoNCI Clinical Trials Enrollment Drops to 17,500

Enrollment in NCI-sponsored National Clinical Trials Network clinical trials will drop to about 17,500 this fiscal year, the network groups have been told by NCI officials. 

This enrollment figure includes 3,600 pediatric patients, so the total adult enrollment will add up to about 14,000, insiders at cooperative groups say.

photoGAO: FDA Data on Drug Shortages Inadequate

FDA needs to improve its access to data if it is to manage drug shortages more effectively, the Government Accountability Office concluded.

The FDA’s management of drug shortage data is “inconsistent with federal internal control standards,” the GAO report states.

photoDuke’s Dzau Named IOM President

Victor Dzau, chancellor of health affairs at Duke University and president and CEO of the Duke University Health System, was named president of the Institute of Medicine.

Dzau will succeed current IOM president Harvey Fineberg effective July 1.

photoIn Brief

  • NCI’s John Czajkowski to take executive dean position at Harvard Medical School

  • Issam Markhoul named distinguished chair for hematology and oncology at University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences

  • Margaret Dimond named president of Karmanos Cancer Hospital

  • North Shore-LIJ Cancer Institute opens $47 million radiation facility

  • Duke-NUS Graduate Medical School Singapore partners with ImaginAb Inc.

  • St. Jude Thanks and Giving campaign rasies over $97 million

  • Roswell Park Cancer Institute to collaborate with GenomOncology

  • Roche Servicios S.A. and Cancer Genetics Inc. enter agreement

  • Novartis acquires CoStim Pharmaceuticals Inc.

20140214 - Feb 14, 2014
ISSUE 7 – FEB. 14, 2014PDF

A meeting of the FDA Oncologic Drugs Advisory Committee has become a rare occurrence.

Why?

Because cancer drugs are getting better, as are applications for their approval, said Richard Pazdur, director of the FDA Office of Hematology and Oncology Products. 

“Drug development is much more focused, and decisions are being made on the basis of understanding the molecular basis of the disease rather than the number of responses observed in an early phase study,” Pazdur said.

photoGuest Editorial 
Once Again, Hype Overshadows Data
In Breast Cancer Screening Debate

By Otis W. Brawley

Studies assessing the merits of cancer screening tend to get a lot of play in the news media. It seems every six months or so a new study makes a big splash.

photoDrasga and Einhorn Respond to Single Payer Proposal Rebuttal

In a recent article published in the Journal of Oncology Practice, oncologists Ray Drasga and Lawrence Einhorn called on their colleagues to support “an improved Medicare for all” program.

The provisions of the Affordable Care Act are insufficient to solve the crises facing American cancer patients, they wrote in the journal published by the American Society for Clinical Oncology.

photoIn Brief

  • Waun Ki Hong will retire as head of MD Anderson Cancer Center’s Division of Cancer Medicine

  • Fraser Symmans named director of CALGB Alliance Translational Research Program

  • American Cancer Society adds five officers to redesigned volunteer board of directors, with Pamela Meyerhoffer as chair

  • John Walter, president and CEO of The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society, steps down

  • MD Anderson’s Jim Allison awarded Szent-Györgyi Prize

  • AVEO Oncology and Astellas Pharma Inc. to End Tivozanib Agreement 

20140207 - Feb 7, 2014
ISSUE 6 – FEB. 7, 2014PDF

“Confidential and Proprietary” Document Proposes Plan for National Network

You might think of this as an event isolated to Columbus or central Ohio: 

On Feb. 7, OhioHealth, a health system that operates not-for-profit, faith-based hospitals in central Ohio and competes with Ohio State University, said it would join the outreach network of MD Anderson Cancer Center, located almost 1,200 miles away.

photoConversation with The Cancer Letter 
McKinsey Charge: Create Plan 
To Expand MD Anderson’s Reach

Responding to questions from The Cancer Letter, Jim Newman, director of external communications at MD Anderson, confirmed that the presentation obtained by The Cancer Letter was prepared under a contract by McKinsey & Company.

photoCVS to Stop Tobacco Sales at Pharmacies

CVS Caremark plans to stop selling cigarettes and other tobacco products at more than 7,600 CVS/pharmacy stores by Oct. 1.

The country’s largest drug store chain in overall sales estimated that it will forego approximately $2 billion—about 17 cents per share—in revenues on an annual basis from snuffing out Big T.

photoDrug Development
Tivozanib Trial Discontinued Due to Insufficient Enrollment

AVEO Oncology and Astellas Pharma Inc. discontinued a phase II study of tivozanib in locally recurrent or metastatic triple-negative breast cancer due to insufficient enrollment.

photoIn Brief

  • Wendy Selig elected president Of NCCR board of directors

  • Dana-Farber Receives $900,000 for ovarian cancer research

  • Richard Folkers named director of communications for the Foundation for the NIH

  • Sarah Cannon to integrate cancer programs with HealthONE hospitals

  • Amgen and Merck to collaborate on oncolytic immunotherapy

  • Univ. of Pittsburgh selects GenomAnalytics platform for TGCA data

  • Health Canada approves Aptima HPV assay

  • Definiens and Clarient sign agreement over image analysis software