20140124 - Jan 24, 2014
ISSUE 4 – JAN. 24, 2014PDF

Conversation with The Cancer Letter:
Seffrin To Retire After Restructuring ACS

The American Cancer Society has started a search to replace its chief executive officer, John Seffrin.

Seffrin, who became the CEO in 1992, recently completed streamlining of the society’s organizational structure, eliminating the autonomy of divisions, decreasing the number of board members, and making the century-old organization into a single corporate entity.

photoASCO, COA Present Plans For Cancer Care
Beyond the Fee-for-Service Pay Structure

The Community Oncology Alliance and the American Society of Clinical Oncology issued a joint statement on payment reform in cancer care and proposed alternative approaches to paying for cancer care. 

photoKomen Officials Say Charity is Stabilizing Despite 22 Percent Drop in Contributions

The Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation reported a 22 percent decline in contributions in fiscal 2013—totalling over $77 million—in recent financial statements.

Overall, the charity’s revenues fell by 18 percent from the 2012 fiscal year.

photoFDA News

  • Reagent system approved for the prevention of Graft-Versus-Host Disease

  • FDA launches advisory committee membership nomination web portal 

  • Orphan designation granted to BL-8040 for stem cell mobilization

  • EU CHMP issues positive opinion for Roche’s subcutaneous MabThera

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