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

20140131 - Jan 31, 2014
ISSUE 5 – JAN. 31, 2014PDF

Congress Mandates NIH Cut PR Costs, Coordinate Spending on Communications

Congressional appropriators instructed NIH to cut spending on communications activities and coordinate the broad range of activities that fall under the category of public relations.

The mandate is a part of the report that accompanied the recently passed appropriations bill.

photoIPRI’s Peter Boyle on Closing the Gap In Global Cancer Treatment and Outcomes

The International Prevention Research Institute has published “The State of Oncology 2013,” a report that highlights disparate cancer outcomes between higher- and lower-resource countries and proposes long-term recommendations. 

photoPresident Calls For Reversing Cuts to Basic Research Budget

In his state of the union address to Congress Jan. 28, President Barack Obama called for reversing the cuts made to basic research in the federal budget.

photoDrasga, Einhorn Make Appeal For Single-Payer Healthcare

In a feature article published in the Journal of Oncology Practice, oncologists Ray Drasga and Lawrence Einhorn called for their colleagues to endorse single-payer healthcare.

The journal is published by the American Society for Clinical Oncology.

photoACS, SU2C Commit $20 Million For Lung Cancer Dream Team

The American Cancer Society and Stand Up To Cancer announced a collaboration to fund translational research and advocacy programs.

photoIn Brief

  • Indiana University cancer center receives $15 million pledge from Vera Bradley Foundation

  • Hope Funds for Cancer Research announce James D. Watson Award 

  • Dept. of Defense offers $580 million in medical research funding

  • Justin Klamerus named chief quality officer at Karmanos Cancer Institute

  • Angela Davies named chief medical officer of Champions Oncology

  • UCSF and Quest Diagnostics form collaboration

  • John Porter to receive Public Welfare Medal from the National Academy of Sciences

photoFDA News

  • FDA lifts clinical hold on tosedostat

  • U.K. National Institute for Health and Care Excellence issues final opinion on Pixuvri