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August 7, 2018
Dr. Stan Gerson Stan Gerson, MD
Director, Case Comprehensive Cancer Center
Case CCC Annual Scientific Retreat Wrap-Up
The 2018 Case Comprehensive Cancer Center Annual Scientific Retreat focused on the interface between the strategic scientific initiatives and the 7 Research Programs, to help link innovative efforts with the breadth of research of our members.  The program was a resounding success with terrific presentations from 22 members plus 9 trainees (more about them below) [view agenda] .

I would especially point out the areas of drug discovery, immune oncology, disparities and community research, and cancer genomics as broad efforts across many of our research programs.

Lunchtime break-out sessions allowed the Program Leaders to assess priorities, update their specific aims and themes, and to encourage working groups pursuing multi-investigator grants. I have set as a priority supporting your efforts to pursue larger grants and to link across scientific disciplines to do so. We also have an Innovation grant RFA that just closed that will be the first of a number of efforts to encourage risk-taking research.  Our strategic plan will be updated as a result and will impact recruitments, new equipment and enhancements to our research shared resources.

Finally, my comments were the least important, but since a number of you have asked, here is the link to the slides presented: [ view slides].  They include notice of the new NCI initiatives in population sciences, immune oncology and novel therapeutics. Thursday, I presented an introduction of the 23 new members over the past year, plus our Exceptional review score and new Shared Resource equipment [view slides]. 

As always, your input is needed and appreciated. Most often, your input results in a focus for investment and for research.  I look forward to hearing from you.
Trainee Poster Session Winners
Congratulations to the 9 Case CCC Distinguished Trainees!   These trainees  were selected as the top poster presentations during the Thursday evening 
2018 Poster Winners
poster session, and were invited to present one-minute elevator speeches to Cancer Center members during Friday's program. Their presentations were outstanding!  
  • Benjamin Bryson
    Postdoc, Mentor: Mark Jackson
    "Senescence prevents the expansion of pre-malignant mesenchymal cells with cancer stem cell properties" 
  • Lauren Huang Undergraduate Student, Mentor:  Agne  Petrosiute "Positive effect of PD-L1/PD1 engagement for optimal t-cell activation during early anti-tumor immune priming as assessed by in vitro dentritic cell-induced t cell proliferation"
  • Natasha Ingles
    Graduate Student, Mentor: Ruth Keri
    "BCL11A induction of matrix metalloproteases may be necessary for invasion  of triple-negative breast cancer"
  • Alyssa La Belle Flynn
    Graduate Student, Mentor: William  Schiemann
    "Pfkfb3 mediates breast cancer metastatic dormancy by modulating autophagy through
    interaction with p62/SQSTM1"
  • William Samsa
    Fellow, Mentor:  Guang  Zhou "The crucial p53-dependent oncogenic role of JAB1 in osteosarcoma pathogenesis"
  • Darcie Seachrist
    Graduate Student, Mentor: Ruth Keri
    "The breast cancer stem cell factor, BCL11A, induces triple-negative breast cancer invasion and metastasis by suppressing MBNL1-associated alternative splicing"
  • Jacob Smigiel
    Postdoc, Mentor: Mark Jackson
    "Oncostatin M drives divergent mesenchymal and tumor initiating programs"
  • Julianne Smith
    Postdoc, Mentors: Amar Desai,  Sanford Markowitz
    " Impact of 15-PGDH inhibition on bone marrow pathogenesis"
  • Lindsay Stetson
    Postdoc, Mentor: David Wald
    "Acute myeloid leukemia stem cell heterogeneity and clonal expansion  during disease progression and relapse"
New Research Center to Focus on Prostate, Bladder, Kidney Cancer
Cleveland Clinic has formed a new Center for Genitourinary (GU) Malignancies Research, which will focus on advancing discoveries to better understand, diagnose and treat cancer of the prostate, bladder and kidney.

The center will be a cross-institute partnership with members from the Lerner Research Institute, Taussig Cancer Institute and Glickman Urological & Kidney Institute to leverage clinical strengths and a diverse patient population for translational and clinical studies.
Nima Sharifi
The center will be led by  Nima Sharifi, MD, who holds appointments in all three institutes. Dr. Sharifi is an expert in cancer endocrinology and metabolism, specifically prostate cancer. He has published landmark studies linking a specific genetic variant to a deadly form of advanced prostate cancer. The work has won him numerous awards, including the national  Top 10 Clinical Achievement Award from the Clinical Research Forum. He is a member of the Association of American Physicians and was recently elected a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science. He co-directs Cleveland Clinic's Center of Excellence in Prostate Cancer Research with  Eric Klein, MD, Chair of the Glickman Urological & Kidney Institute, and directs the GU program of the Cleveland-wide  Case Comprehensive Cancer Center. He also holds the Kendrick Family Endowed Chair for Prostate Cancer Research. more>
Tech Takes on Cigarette Smoking
Researchers at Case Western Reserve University are using wearable sensor technology to develop an automatic alert system to help people quit smoking.

The smart-phone app, initially limited to android-based operating systems, automatically texts 20- to 120-second video messages to smokers when sensors detect specific arm and body motions associated with smoking.
There is no shortage of products or programs--from nicotine gum to hypnosis--to help people stop smoking. More recently, wearable technology has gained popularity in the fight against addiction.

But the mobile alert system Case Western Reserve researchers are testing may be the first that combines:
  • an existing online platform with mindfulness training and a personalized plan for quitting; * two armband sensors to detect smoking motions, a technology that demonstrated more than 98-percent accuracy in differentiating "lighting up" from other similar motions. (That compares to 72-percent accuracy in systems using a single armband);
  • and a personalized text-messaging service that reminds the user of either their own plan to quit, or sends video messages that stress the health and financial benefits of quitting.
Collaborative effort
The system was conceived, developed and tested over the course of the last year by a team of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science researchers at the Case School of Engineering and a high school intern in collaboration with a clinical psychologist at the Case Western Reserve School of Medicine.

A paper detailing the system and reporting early findings on a group of 10 users was published in a July edition of  Smart Health [ Chen, Smart Health, 2018]. The researchers said most previous studies have relied on smokers self-reporting how often they smoked, while the Case Western Reserve system more accurately tracked smoking activity based on the sensors.

Ming-Chun Huang "We've been able to differentiate between a single motion, which could be confused with eating or drinking, and a sequence of motions more clearly linked to the act of smoking a cigarette," said Ming-Chun Huang, an assistant electrical engineering and computer science professor who led the technical aspect of the study. Monica Webb Hooper

The collaboration to develop a technology-enhanced, and personalized mobile-smoking cessation system started after a conversation last summer between Huang, who was looking for a new project for his students, and Monica Webb Hooper Associate Director for Cancer Disparities Research at the Case Comprehensive Cancer Center, who was seeking new ways to help her clients break the habit.

"The field of tobacco control has really adopted mobile technologies because many people won't come in for therapy," said Webb Hooper, who has been working on interventions for nearly two decades. more>
MetroHealth 3rd Annual Cancer Center Symposium
Aug 31, 2018 | MetroHealth
You are invited to submit an
MetroHealth logo
 abstract for The MetroHealth System's 3rd annual Cancer Center Symposium. 

The theme for the symposium is "Palliative Care and Oncology: Teamwork in a Changing Care Environment." All cancer-related topics such as medical oncology, palliative care, survivorship, navigation, as well as work in progress, will be considered for inclusion in the symposium. All accepted submissions will be considered for the Poster Session. Nurses and other allied health care providers, residents, fellows and medical students are invited to submit their original work. Previously presented work may also be submitted. 


  • Abstracts must be sent directly to Jennifer Prechtel at no later than August 14, 2018. 
  • Abstracts must be submitted as word documents. Abstracts are limited to 400 words.
  • Posters should be no larger than 6 feet by 4 feet.
  • Include the following: 
    • Title Institution
    • Author(s) 
    • Category (i.e. oncology, palliative care, survivorship, navigation) 
    • Background 
    • Methods 
    • Results 
    • Conclusion
  • You will receive an email confirmation within two business days following submission.
  • Letters of acceptance will be emailed by August 15, 2018, to the first author/presenter.
3rd Annual Cancer Disparities Symposium
Mar 1, 2019 | Tinkham Veale University Center, CWRU
Case CCC logo
2019 Symposium Highlights
  • Keynote presentations by renowned disparities researchers and community leaders
    • Scientific keynote presentation by Rick Kittles, PhDAssociate Director of Health Equities, Comprehensive Cancer Center; Professor and Director, Division of Health Equities, Department of Population Sciences, City of Hope
  • Poster session highlighting academic research and community programs
  • Networking session
  • All attendee forum
Submit an Abstract
  • Abstract Submission Opens: Tuesday, September 4, 2018
  • Abstract Submission Deadline: Wednesday, October 31, 2018
  • Abstract Acceptance Notification: Tuesday, December 4, 2018
*Oral presentations selected from submitted abstracts.

Tobacco Intervention and Psychosocial Support Service (TIPS) Retreat
Aug 24, 2018 | WRB 1422
Case CCC logo The Case Comprehensive Cancer Center is hosting its first  Tobacco Intervention and Psychosocial Support Service (TIPSretreat.  

The event will take place Friday, August 24, 2018 from 8:00am - 1:00pm at the Case Comprehensive Cancer Center administrative suite, Wolstein Research Building 1422, 2103 Cornell Road, Cleveland, OH 44106.  Breakfast and lunch will be served.

Our goals are to discuss progress at each site, best practices, and sustainability for TIPS 

Please contact Monica Webb Hooper ( or Michaela Munday ( with any questions. 

RSVP via email to Mary Wright ( 
HIP-Cuyahoga Care Pack Drive
In partnership with HIP-Cuyahoga, the Office of Cancer Disparities Research (OCDR) is hosting a Care Pack drive. Drop-off boxes will be available through August 15 in the following locations:
  • Cancer Administration Office (WRB 1422)
  • OCDR Office (WRB 3528)
  • OCDR BioEnterprise (BioEnterprise 4th Floor)
HIP Cuyahoga care pack drive 2018
Study Supports Prostate Cancer Active Surveillance for Younger Men
Renal & Urology News - Jul 31, 2018
Younger men on prostate cancer (PCa) active surveillance (AS) are at lower risk of Gleason score upgrading and pathologic progression on repeat biopsy, according to a new study...The study, whose senior author was Lee E. Ponsky, MD, of University Hospitals Cleveland Medical Center, Case Comprehensive Cancer Center, had as a major limitation the small number of studies that were included. The investigators noted that "this can be partially overcome with the large number of total subjects."
Here's What You Need to Know About Prostate Cancer Treatments
Men's Health - Jul 26, 2018
Receiving a cancer diagnosis is one of the most terrifying experiences someone can have. And unfortunately, roughly one in 9 guys will be diagnosed with prostate cancer during their lifetime, according to the American Cancer Society...Eric Klein, MD, Chairman of the Cleveland Clinic Glickman Urological and Kidney Institute and member of the Case Comprehensive Cancer Center, says that "the bottom line with radical prostatectomy is that the surgeon's experience matters more than the technique. At the Cleveland Clinic, the outcomes after prostatectomy-cure, preservation of continence and potency, pain, and recovery time-are almost identical between open and robotic surgery."
DoD Peer Reviewed Cancer Research Program (PRCRP)
CDMRP logo
Horizon Award (W81XWH-18-PRCRP-HA)
Pre-Application Deadline: Aug 28, 2018 
Application Deadline: Sep 26, 2018
The FY18 PRCRP Horizon Award supports junior-level scientists in conducting impactful research with the mentorship of an experienced cancer researcher (i.e., Mentor). The Horizon Award challenges junior scientists to develop and implement research in the cancer field. This opportunity allows for junior investigators to develop a research project, investigate a problem or question in the field of cancer, and further their intellectual development as a cancer researcher of the future. Under this award mechanism, the junior investigator is considered the Principal Investigator (PI), and the application should focus on the PI's research and career development.  

Career Development Award (W81XWH-18-PRCRP-CDA)
Pre-Application Deadline: Aug 28, 2018
Application Deadline: Sep 26, 2018
The FY18 PRCRP Career Development Award supports independent, early-career investigators to conduct impactful research with the guidance of an experienced cancer researcher (i.e., the Career Guide). The Career Development Award presents an opportunity for early-career investigators to obtain the funding, guidance, and experience necessary for productive, independent careers at the forefront of cancer research. This award supports impactful research projects with an emphasis on discovery. Under this award mechanism, the early-career investigator is considered the Principal Investigator (PI), and the application should focus on the PI's research and career development.
Opportunities for Pilot Projects to Support New Collaborative Initiatives
Deadline:  Aug 17, 2018
Case CCC logo The Case Comprehensive Cancer Center is providing seed funding for new collaborative multi-investigator and impactful proposals that will complement the Case CCC Scientific Initiatives and generate key data for larger, nationally competitive grants. Projects must be transformative in nature and focus on Genomics, Drug Discovery, Community and Disparities Research, AYA, Immunotherapy, Women's Cancers, or Brain Tumors. Investigators should submit ideas that will build new collaborations.  This RFA is open to all Case Comprehensive Cancer Center Members. These projects must not be currently funded by other sources or by the Cancer Center.

  • Up to 5 research projects will be funded. Total funds committed to this RFA are $300,000.
  • Each research project can request a budget of up to $75,000 for one year.
  • Research projects should be completed within one year.
  • Research must include at least 1 project and 2 PIs.
NIH BULLETIN- Notices and Funding Opportunities
Program Announcements
Regenerative Medicine Innovation Project (RMIP) Investigator-Initiated Studies (U01 - Clinical Trial Not Allowed)(RFA-HL-18-030)
Application Deadline: Oct 19, 2018

Regenerative Medicine Innovation Project (RMIP) Investigator-Initiated Clinical Trials (UG3/UH3 - Clinical Trial Required)(RFA-HL-18-031)
Application Deadline: Oct 19, 2018

Regenerative Medicine Innovation Project (RMIP) (UT2-Clinical Trial Not Allowed)(RFA-HL-18-033)
Application Deadline: Oct 19, 2018

Regenerative Medicine Innovation Project (RMIP) (U44 - Clinical Trial Not Allowed)(RFA-HL-18-035)
Application Deadline: Oct 19, 2018

Discovery of Biomarkers, Biomarker Signatures, and Endpoints for Pain (R61/R33 Clinical Trial Optional)(RFA-NS-18-041)
Nov 27, 2018; Mar 7, 2019; Nov 25, 2019; Mar 12, 2020

NCI Outstanding Investigator Award (R35 Clinical Trial Not Allowed)(PAR-18-880)
Deadline: Nov 2, 2018

NCI Research Specialist (Core-based Scientist) Award (R50 Clinical Trial Not Allowed)(PAR-18-887)
Deadline: Jan 11, 2019

NCI Research Specialist (Laboratory-based Scientist) Award (R50 Clinical Trial Not Allowed)(PAR-18-888)
Deadline: Jan 11, 2019
Wed, Aug 8
Cancer Stem Cell Conference 2018
Thurs, Aug 9
Developmental Therapeutics Journal Club
9a R4-013 Cleveland Clinic
Fri, Aug 10
Taussig Cancer Institute Grand Rounds
8a CA5-120 
Mon, Aug 13
Genomic Medicine Institute
Kathleen Burns, MD, PhD
Associate Professor, Medical Staff, Deputy Director (Vice Chair) for Research Department of Pathology, John Hopkins University School of Medicine
"Our Red Queen's Race: The conflict that creates genomes and its roles in disease"
Thurs, Aug 16
Developmental Therapeutics Journal Club
9a R4-013 Cleveland Clinic


Deadline: Open

Deadline: Open

Deadline: Open
Case Comprehensive Cancer Center 
2103 Cornell Road, Ste 1422
Cleveland, OH 44106-7285