July 17, 2017
Dr. Stan Gerson
Stan Gerson, MD
Director, Case Comprehensive Cancer Center
2017 is flying by.

For a real-time update please join us for  our Annual Scientific Retreat this Thursday, July 20 in the Tinkham Veale University Center. Ramon Parsons, MD, PhD, Professor and Chairman, Oncological Sciences, Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, will deliver a keynote presentation on "Causes and Consequences of PTEN Inactivation in Cancer." He discovered this oncogene and its function in carcinogenesis.  Immediately following, I will give a Director's Overview, followed by a student, trainee, postdoc poster presentation and reception.  This is always a nice event and a good way to catch up with your colleagues. Please register to attend [ http://conta.cc/2rWrk7R ] - I hope to see you all there.
I cannot believe it is already past mid-July. I'd like to update you on what our Center has been up to. The first part of the year was heavily devoted to the submission of our competitive Cancer Center Support Grant renewal in late May.  Everyone in our Center contributed in some way to this monumental effort. Contributions from more than 60 members and staff wrote parts of the 2,850 page document and collected the incredible accomplishments of our members.

The submission creates a picture of our astonishing achievements that reflect discoveries leading to high impact publications, consideration of our patients, connection and improvements for our regional population, and intellectual property leading to new therapeutics. Our members have led national clinical trials resulting in practice-changing FDA approvals.  Our listing of publications in high impact journals continues to increase a reflection of the high quality of our collective contributions.  Despite these remarkable milestones, to tell our story took considerable effort on the part of many - faculty, lab members, the Clinical Trials Units, and physicians consenting patients to clinical trials. Even more, the collaborative spirit across institutions is palpable and something the NCI  views as critical to our Center.

Behind the scenes, Cancer Center administration worked tirelessly for months to pull it all together into a polished, seamless product that we are all immensely proud of. Their expertise and dedication was astounding.

The grant submission is not the end, however. Post-grant submission we shifted gears to start planning for our NCI Site Visit in October. We have already started drafting presentations, gathering updates on research, grants and publications, and compiling the necessary documentation for the big day.

To kick-off the site visit preparation, the leadership retreat on July 21 will go over Site Visit related-specifics and continue the planning process.  We have many, many meetings and practices scheduled over the next few months to ensure everyone is fully prepared for our Site Visit.

In between it all, we are still doing our day jobs! 

See you all Thursday at the retreat! 
New brain cancer drug targets revealed
CWRU SOM - Jul 5, 2017
Researchers from the Case Comprehensive Cancer Center, Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine and Cleveland Clinic Lerner Research Institute have developed a new method to screen brain tumor cells and identify potential drug targets missed by traditional methods. The team successfully used their technique to find a new drug target in glioblastoma that, when inhibited, significantly extended survival in preclinical mouse models.

In the new study published in Nature [ Miller, Nature, 2017], the team implanted human glioblastoma cells from patients to form human tumors inside mouse brains, closely mimicking the natural tumor environment. They simultaneously screened hundreds of genes in these tumors to understand which genes were important for cancer cell survival. They compared these screening results in the brain with those from a parallel screening they conducted in the patients' cells grown in the laboratory. What they found was surprising - 57 genes required for the cancer cells to grow in a functional tumor environment in the brain were not required when the cells were grown in the laboratory. 

Jeremy Rich_ MD
Jeremy Rich
Paul Tesar headshot
Paul Tesar
Tyler Miller
Tyler Miller
Research for the study was led by senior authors and Case Comprehensive Cancer Center members Jeremy Rich, MD and Paul Tesar, PhD, and first author 
Tyler Miller, PhD, medical student in the CWRU Medical Scientist Training Program and Cleveland Clinic Lerner Research Institute.  more>
Researchers publish new findings on influence of high-fat diet on colorectal cancer
Cleveland Clinic - Jul 6, 2017
In a newly published study, Cleveland Clinic researchers have identified a specific molecular pathway that plays a key role in the link between a high-fat diet and tumor growth in the colon.

In the July 6 issue of  Stem Cell Reports [ Karunanithi Stem Cell Reports, 2017], the team showed in pre-clinical models that cancer stem cell growth in the colon was enhanced by a high-fat, Western diet. Cancer stem cells are a subset of resilient, aggressive malignant cells that are believed to be partially responsible for spread and recurrence of cancer.

Furthermore, when the researchers blocked the JAK2-STAT3 cellular signaling pathway, a widely studied pathway known to promote tumor growth, the spike in cancer stem cell growth caused by the high-fat diet declined.

This study provides more insight into how the JAK2-STAT3 pathway is linked to diet-related cancer. Pinpointing the exact mechanism can help researchers develop therapeutics to counteract the negative effects of a Western diet on colorectal cancer. 

Noy, Noa
Noa Noy
Senior author of the study was the late Noa Noy, PhD, and first author was Sheelarani Karunanithi, PhD. The laboratories of Ofer Reizes, PhD, Justin D. Lathia, PhD, and Matthew Kalady, MD, all of the Case Comprehensive Cancer Center, participated in the study. 
Steinmetz awarded over $4.7 million to develop drug-delivery nanotechnology
Nicole Steinmetz
Nicole Steinmetz
CWRU SOM - Jun 29, 2017 
Nicole F. Steinmetz, PhD, George J. Picha Professor in Biomaterials, member of the Case Comprehensive Cancer Center, and Director of the Center for Bio-Nanotechnology at Case Western Reserve School of Medicine, has received two major grants from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) to develop microscopic drug-delivery systems for patients living with breast cancer, and patients at risk for serious blood clots.

The new R01 awards are provided by the National Cancer Institute (NCI), and the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI). Steinmetz plans to collaborate with fellow members of the Case Comprehensive Cancer Center ( Ruth Keri, PhD, Julian Kim MD), Case Center for Imaging Research (Xin Yu, ScD), and the CWRU Cardiovascular Research Institute (Yunmei Wang, PhD, Daniel Simon, MD), as well as collaborators at Dartmouth Geisel School of Medicine (Steven Fiering, PhD) for the funded studies. more>
Majhail project to test internet-based intervention for HCT survivors
Majhail, Navneet headshot
Navneet Majhail
Navneet Majhail, MD, MS, Case Comprehensive Cancer Center and Cleveland Clinic, is co-PI on a project in collaboration with Scott Baker, MD and  Karen Syrjala, PhD from the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, that received $3.6 million from the National Cancer Institute. The project involves a clinical trial that will test an internet-based intervention for hematopoietic cell transplant (HCT) survivors with cancer-related distress and/or inadequate adherence to preventive care.
2nd Annual Melanoma Conference
Aug 16 | InterContinental Hotel
Registration is open for the 2nd Annual Melanoma Conference: Case-Based Discussion of Treatment Options for Melanoma, Wednesday, August 16 from 10a-4p at the InterContinental Hotel and Conference Center. 

This medical education program for health care professionals will feature guest panelist, Charles Balch, MD, PhD, Professor of Surgery, University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center. Dr. Balch serves on the editorial board of The Patient Resource Cancer Guide (founding Editor) and American Board of Surgery. He is President of The Society of Surgical Oncology and The American Joint Committee on Cancer of Melanoma Staging Committee Chairman.

To register, please contact Becky Habecker, Cleveland Clinic Taussig Cancer Institute Melanoma Program Manager, at habeckb@ccf.org or 216.445.2612. 
Helio/HemOnc Today - Jul 17, 2017
The time between cancer diagnosis and treatment initiation increased by 38% during a 10-year period, according to study results.  The delay appeared associated with a substantially increased risk for death. " Physicians need to commit to multidisciplinary care and create integrated practice units that focus on patients," Alok A. Khorana, MD, Case Comprehensive Cancer Center, professor of medicine at Cleveland Clinic Lerner College of Medicine, vice chair for clinical services at Taussig Cancer Institute and director of the gastrointestinal malignancies program at Cleveland Clinic, said in a press release. "Time to treatment initiation needs to be measured and emphasized, and we must understand what is significant to each individual patient and not assume we already know."
LATITUDE, STAMPEDE trials provide "practice-changing" findings in prostate cancer
Helio/HemOnc Today - Jul 15, 2017
The results of the LATITUDE and STAMPEDE trials presented at the ASCO Annual Meeting position abiraterone acetate "as the new frontline agent for men with castration-naive, metastatic prostate cancer," according to Jorge Garcia, MD, Case Comprehensive Cancer Center, Cleveland Clinic.
When doctors told the family of Denniya Rawls this week that the 7-month-old would be discharged from the hospital, one relative yelled out, "Thank you, Jesus."
Denniya had spent more than 100 days at Cleveland Clinic Children's in Ohio, where she underwent a  bone marrow transplant, when she was finally sent home on Thursday...  Denniya, whose stomach was so distended she had difficulty breathing, was first diagnosed with liver and respiratory failure and then a severe  blood disorder , according to Dr. Rabi Hanna of the Case Comprehensive Cancer Center and Cleveland Clinic.  Hanna diagnosed Denniya with a rare form of hemophagocytic lymphohistiocytosis (HLH), where the body makes too many activated immune cells,  according to the National Institutes of Health .
Leukemia and Lymphoma Society (LLS) 
Deadline: Jul 31
This program supports the initial exploration of untested but potentially transformative ideas that challenge our knowledge of blood cancer or the manner in which we approach diagnosis or treatment. 

Deadline: Sep 1
The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society's (LLS) Career Development Program (CDP) provides stipends so that you can devote yourself to researching questions of direct relevance to hematological malignancies and/or relevant pre-malignant conditions.  LLS offers career development awards to postdoctoral fellows as well as early career, independent investigators. 

Deadline: Sep 22
LLS's Specialized Center of Research (SCOR) grant program is intended to bring together established investigators from one or several institutions to develop a focused research program, foster new interactions and cooperation, and enhance interdisciplinary research among the participants. The overall goal of this mechanism is to enhance the development of innovative strategies for the treatment,  diagnosis  or prevention of hematological malignancies. Strategies that move discoveries from the bench to the clinic are of high importance as are integrated translational projects.

Deadline: Sep 29
The Translational Research Program puts you on the bench-to-bedside fast track when it comes to finding better treatment and cures for leukemia, lymphoma and myeloma. The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society funds new and innovative research that shows high promise for translating basic biomedical knowledge to clinical application.
Limited Submission: Gabrielle's Angel Foundation
Internal Deadline: Jul 25
External Deadline: Aug 18
The Case Comprehensive Cancer Center is invited to nominate TWO applicants ( 1 conventional and 1 integrative) for Gabrielle's Angel Foundation Medical Research Awards. These Medical Research Awards are specifically designed to provide support at the early exponential phase in the junior investigator's independent lab career. The stated purpose is to encourage the exploration of new areas of research in the hematologic malignancies; the kind of bold scientific ideas that lack sufficient data and/or may not be eligible for funding from more traditional mechanisms.

Interested candidates should submit a one-page LOI to casecccpilots@case.edu by Tuesday, July 25, 2017.

  • Applicants must hold a junior faculty position at a 501(c)(3) teaching research institution and have an MD, PhD, or MD/PhD degree(s) from an accredited institution.
  • Applicants must hold the designation of Assistant Professor (Associate Professors are ineligible) and must have institutional support either as an independent junior faculty member or tenure track.
  • Applicant must have held his/her current position no longer than five years.
  • Applicants must clearly state that he/she has independent research projects as well as independent resources and must have preliminary results and/or publications from their independent laboratory.
  • The Foundation accepts one application per category, per institution:
    • One in Mainstream/Conventional research 
    • One in Integrative Medicine research 
  • Total award shall not exceed $225,000 or $75,000.00 per year for three years contingent on the submission of approved annual progress reports.
  • Overhead costs cannot exceed 10% (or $22,500) of the total grant award ($7,500 per year.)
Details posted on the Case CCC website
NIH BULLETIN- Notices and Funding Opportunities
Call for Applications/Program Announcements

Notice of NCI's Participation on PA-17-225 "Advancing the Science of Geriatric Palliative Care (R01)" (NOT-CA-17-054)

Notice of Correction to PA-17-110 "Reducing Overscreening for Breast, Cervical, and Colorectal Cancers among Older Adults (R01)" (NOT-CA-17-063)

Ethical, Legal, and Social Implications (ELSI) of Genomics Exploratory/Developmental Research Grant Program (R21)(PA-17-323)
Deadline: Feb 16; Jun 16, Oct 16

Ethical, Legal, and Social Implications (ELSI) of Genomics Small Research Grant Program (R03)(PA-17-324)
Deadline: Feb 16; Jun 16; Oct 16
Deadline: Feb 5; Jun 5; Oct 5
Tues, Jul 18
Radiation Oncology Grand Rounds
Jose Bazan, MD
Assistant Professor, Radiation Oncology, Ohio State University Comprehensive Cancer Center-James Cancer Research Hospital and Solove Research Institute
"Intraoperative Radiotherapy for Breast Cancer: Current Status and Emerging Indications"
8:10a Lerner B-151

THOR Seminar
Jianhong Lin, MD PhD
"Investigate the Role of Apurinic/apyrimidinic Endonuclease 1/2 (APEX1/2) in Tumorigenesis with Animal Models"
Instructor, Medicine, Dana Farber, Harvard
1p R3-027
Wed, Jul 19
Fluidigm Training
"Biomark Overview: Intro to Gene Expression"
9:30a WRB 3-136
Thurs, Jul 20
Developmental Therapeutics Journal Club 
9a R4-013

Fluidigm Training
"Overview of additional Biomark applications"
9:30a WRB 3-136

Case CCC Annual Scientific Retreat 
4:30-8p Tinkham Veale University Center
Fri, Jul 21
VeloSano Kickoff Party 
4-9p Downtown Mall B
Sat, Jul 22 - Sun Jul 23
VeloSano Bike to Cure
Tues, Jul 25
THOR Seminar
Eli Bar, PhD
Assistant Professor, Neurological Surgery, CWRU/UH
"Studying and targeting glioma cancer stem cells: therapeutic implications and challenges"
1p R3-027
Thur, Jul 27
Developmental Therapeutics Journal Club
9a R4-013
Fri, Jul 28
Taussig Cancer Institute Grand Rounds
8a R3/002-003

Cellular and Molecular Medicine Seminar
Drew Adams, PhD
Assistant Professor, Genetics and Genome Sciences, CWRU

"New Opportunities for Small-Molecule Drug Discovery on Campus"
10a NC1-202


AACI Clinical Research Initiative Meeting
Jul 12-13, 2017
Loews Chicago O'Hare Hotel

Mesenchymal Stem Cell Conference 2017
Aug 14-16, 2017
Marriott Key Center   

Genomic Medicine Institute 5th Annual Genetics Education Symposium - Genetics and Genomics: A Focus on Women's Health
Sep 7, 2017
InterContinental Hotel

International Cancer Education Conference
Sep 13-15, 2017
Westin Cleveland Downtown

Responsible Opioid Management: Impact on Hospice and Palliative Care
Sep 22, 2017
Embassy Suites, Independence

GvHD National Symposium
Oct 13, 2017
Grand Event Center, Columbus, OH
Case Comprehensive Cancer Center 
11100 Euclid Avenue, Wearn152
Cleveland, OH 44106-5065