20140117 - Jan 17, 2014
ISSUE 3 – JAN. 17, 2014PDF

Officials: “Separations” in Normal Range
As Critics Claim Brain Drain in the Clinic

When surveyed by the Faculty Senate in October 2012, nearly a third of faculty members at MD Anderson Cancer Center who responded said they were likely to leave the institution within three years.

Of that number, 9.3 percent said they were likely to leave within one year.

photoAs Leadership Changes Continue, Fontaine, Leach Get New Posts
In another round of changes in the executive suite at MD Anderson Cancer Center, Dan Fontaine was appointed head the institutional advancement division, President Ronald DePinho announced in an email to the faculty and staff. 
photoNIH, NCI Get Higher Funding in 2014 Budget
Congress has passed a $1.012 trillion omnibus spending bill, easing the sequestration cuts set for fiscal 2014 and keeping the government open through September. President Barack Obama is expected to sign the bill by Saturday.
photoCDC: Lung Cancer Rates Drop Following Anti-Smoking Efforts
The rate of new lung cancer cases decreased among men and women from 2005 to 2009, largely due to tobacco control efforts, according to a report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
photoHoward Hughes Medical Institute Seeks up to 25 New Researchers
The Howard Hughes Medical Institute is seeking to appoint up to 25 new biomedical researchers through a national open competition. The initiative represents an investment of approximately $150 million in basic biomedical research over the next five years.
photoIn Brief

  • Baylor campus plans to build joint cancer center 
  • Beck named deputy director at Fox Chase Cancer Center 
  • Burtness named co-director of Yale Cancer Center Developmental Therapeutics Research Program
  • Dmitri Alden elected to French National Academy of Surgery
  • MD Anderson and Pfizer to launch immunotherapy collaboration
  • Regeneron Pharmaceuticals and Geisenger Health System to collaborate on genomics
20140110 - Jan 10, 2014
ISSUE 2 – JAN. 10, 2014PDF

Orlando Hospital Severs MD Anderson Ties,
Forming Center with University of Florida

On Jan. 30, somebody will have to climb to the top of Orlando Health’s 10-story Charles Lewis Pavilion to cover up—or start removing—the backlit letters that, with a halo effect created by LED lights, broadcast the health system’s affiliation with MD Anderson Cancer Center.

The name of the distant, venerable cancer center will vanish from Orlando’s skyline. The distinctive red swoosh that symbolically negates the word “cancer” will be gone also.

photoOrlando Health President Mark Roh:
We Opted For a Florida-Centric Strategy

Orlando Health is choosing a partnership over an affiliation, said Mark Roh, president of the Florida cancer center that’s ending its relationship with MD Anderson Cancer Center. Instead, Roh’s hospital is joining the University of Florida to create the UF Health Cancer Center at Orlando Health.

photoLudwig Cancer Research Donates
$540 Million to Six Centers

Ludwig Cancer Research donated a total of $540 million to six of its centers, located at institutions across the country.

photoAVEO’s Tivozanib Fails In Colorectal Cancer

AVEO Oncology said that data from a planned interim analysis of the phase II BATON (Biomarker Assessment of Tivozanib in ONcology) study in patients with colorectal cancer indicate that the study is unlikely to meet the primary endpoint in the intent-to-treat patient population. 

photoTask Force Issues Guideline On LDCT Lung Screening

The U.S. Preventive Services Task Force released its final recommendation statement on screening for lung cancer with low-dose computed tomography.

photoACS: Decline in Death Rates Saved
Over 1.3 Million Lives

Declines in death rates over past two decades have added up to a 20 percent drop in the overall risk of dying from cancer, according to the American Cancer Society’s annual statistics report.

photoIn Brief

  • Gary Lyman to co-direct Fred Hutch outcomes research

  • Gary Schwartz named chief of NewYork-Presbyterian/Columbia University Medical Center Division of Hematology/Oncology 

  • Richard Gannotta named president of Northwestern Memorial Hospital

  • NCI Director Harold Varmus wins Medal of Honour from International Agency for Research on Cancer


FDA News

  • Accelerated Approval granted for Mekinist-Taflinar combination

  • European Commission amends Erbitux label

  • FDA and EMA launch joint initiative for generics inspections

20140103 - Jan 2, 2014
ISSUE 1 – JAN. 3, 2014PDF

Who Makes This Drug?
Secretive Contract Manufacturing Arrangements Complicate Solutions to Shortages of Generics

By Rena M. Conti
The closing of Ben Venue Laboratories, a company that produces a large share of generic drugs used by America’s oncologists, brings into focus a little-understood business practice that exacerbates the problem of drug shortages and shows why the industry and federal regulators have been unable to resolve them.

photoReport to the Nation: Death Rates Continue To Decline Across All Major Disease Sites

Death rates continued to decline for all cancers combined for men and women of all major racial and ethnic groups and for most major cancer sites, according to the Annual Report to the Nation on the Status of Cancer. Rates for both sexes combined decreased by 1.5 percent per year from 2001 through 2010.

photoAn Appreciation: Janet Rowley, “Translational Research Pioneer”

Janet Rowley, a pioneer in connecting the development of cancer with genetic abnormalities, died from complications of ovarian cancer on Dec. 17 at her home. She was 88.

photoIn Brief

  • Julie Vose Elected President of ASCO
  • 2014 Breakthrough Prize Winners Announced
  • Andrea Sloan, Prominent Ovarian Cancer Patient Dies