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August 17, 2018
Lathia, Justin Justin Lathia, PhD
Chair, Cancer Stem Cell Conference 2018
2018 Cancer Stem Cell Conference
CSC 2018 photos
Clockwise from left: Ned Sharpless, MD; CSC opening remarks; CSC attendees; CSC poster session winners.

The 3rd iteration of the Cancer Stem Cell meeting was held August 6-8, 2018 at the Tinkham Veale
University Center. The meeting attracted 230 attendees from 24 states and 8 countries, with a total of 52 separate institutions represented. The meeting also featured Keynote presentations from National
Academy Members Drs. Zena Werb and Irving Weissman, Dr. John Condeelis, and National Cancer
Institute Director Dr. Ned Sharpless.

Scientific sessions over the 3 days covered a range of topics including new technologies, development and genetics, metastasis, epigenetics and state transitions,
tumor microenvironment, immune cell interactions, and metabolism and cell fate decisions. Presentations focused on the multiple mechanisms of cancer stem cell regulation in a variety of tumor types, and included several reports of observations of targetable pathways that have been leveraged into early stage clinical trials.

Priorities for future studies were also highlighted at the meeting and included the importance of understanding cancer stem cells in the context of cell state transitions, increasing the number of molecular regulators of the stem cell state through interdisciplinary approaches, and continuing to develop future therapies beyond standard stem cell pathway inhibitors.

As part of the conference, there was a pre-conference workshop that featured presentations from
National Cancer Institute and National Institutes of Health staff that highlighted that $1.7 billion were
allocated to stem cell research in 2018 and provided insight into grant preparation and the grant review
process. The pre-conference workshop also featured a meet the editors session with scientific editors
from Cancer Discovery, Cell Reports, and Journal of Experimental Medicine.

In addition to these events, there was a Young Investigator Awards lunch session where 5 junior investigators were recognized and gave short talks on their research (Young Investigator Awardees: Yi Fan, University of Pennsylvania; Jian Hu, MD Anderson Cancer Center; Chris Hubert, Cleveland Clinic; Gina Sizemore, The Ohio State University; Monica Venere, The Ohio State University). There was also a poster
session and the following individuals were recognized for their work: Ashish Sharma, Case Western;
James Hale, Cleveland Clinic; Arijita Jash, Wash U; Samaneh Sarvestan, Cleveland Clinic; Jean
Sabile, Virginia Tech.

This conference brought together many minds to share ideas - it will be interesting to see what new collaborations were formed. I'd like to thank our sponsors, the planning committee, attendees, and everyone how helped to make this event a success! 

[Search for #CSC2018 on Twitter to view the conversation around this event.]
U.S. News & World Report 
US News & World Report U.S. News & World Report recently released its  " Best Hospitals 2018-19."

For the third year in a row, Cleveland Clinic was ranked the No. 2 hospital in the nation. In all, 14 Cleveland Clinic specialties earned national rankings, including 12 specialties that ranked among the top five nationwide, including Cancer (No. 5). The Glickman Urological & Kidney Institute was also ranked the No. 1 urology program for the second year in a row, and the No. 1 hospital for cardiology and heart surgery for the 24th consecutive year.

University Hospitals Cleveland Medical Center was recognized nationally as a top hospitaland ranked second among all hospitals in Ohio. University Hospitals Cleveland Medical Center was ranked nationally in 10 specialties,  five of them in the top 25. It ranked No. 28 in Cancer. 
Cleveland Clinic Researchers Receive $4.7M NIH Grant to Prevent Cancer-Associated Thrombosis
The National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute (NHLBI), part of the National Institutes of Health, awarded a $4.7 million grant to Cleveland Clinic  to study the prevention of life-threatening, cancer-associated blood clots.

The new funding will support a Cleveland Clinic-led research consortium, which will focus on developing strategies to prevent cancer-associated thrombosis (blood clot formation), a potential side effect of cancer treatment.

Keith McCrae The five-year grant, led by  Keith McCrae, MD and Alok Khorana, MD, supports the creation of a new risk assessment tool to better predict which cancer patients will develop blood clots during treatment. The project, led by Cleveland Clinic's  Taussig Cancer Institute and  Lerner Research Institute, will coordinate a consortium of three sites involved in this NHLBI program. Other sites include Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center (Harvard Medical School) and the University of Cincinnati. more>
Researchers Find Hidden Signals in RNAs that Regulate Protein Synthesis
Scientists have long known that RNA encodes instructions to make proteins. The building blocks that comprise RNA-A, U, C, and Gs-form a blueprint for the protein-making machinery in cells. To make proteins, the machinery latches on RNA at one end and then scans along the RNA until it reaches an AUG string, which is the signal to start translating the genetic code into a protein.

While scanning RNAs for the first AUG, the protein-making machinery frequently encounters sites that diverge from AUG by one building block (such as AUA). On occasion, protein synthesis starts from such alternative start sites. How the protein-making machinery chooses which alternative sites to use has been a mystery.    
In a new study published in  Nature [Guenther, Nature, 2018], scientists describe how the protein-making machinery identifies alternative initiation sites from which to start protein synthesis. "We discovered a mechanism that explains how sites are chosen for translation events that occur in regions that are traditionally considered untranslated and that initiate at non-traditional start sites," said senior author Eckhard Jankowsky Eckhard Jankowsky, PhD, professor in the Center for RNA Molecular Biology at Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine. "Over the last several years it has become clear that translation in these regions is pervasive, but it is poorly understood how start sites are chosen among the millions of possible start sites." more>
CCIPD and UH Team Jointly Awarded Patent for Decision Support for Disease Characterization and Treatment Response
Anant Madabhushi, PhD, the F. Alex Nason professor II of biomedical engineering, director of the Center for Computational Imaging and Personalized Diagnostics (CCIPD) and Case Comprehensive Cancer Center member, and his team were issued a patent in radiomics based decision support for disease characterization and treatment response.
US Patent 10,004,471, titled "Decision Support for Disease Characterization and Treatment Response with Disease and Peri-Disease Radiomics," describes a novel methodology for classifying a region of tissue using textural analysis. One example apparatus includes an image acquisition logic that acquires an image of a region of tissue demonstrating cancerous pathology, a delineation logic that distinguishes nodule tissue within the image from the background of the image, a perinodular zone logic that defines a perinodular zone based on the nodule, a feature extraction logic that extracts a set of features from the image, a probability logic that computes a probability that the nodule is benign or that the nodule will respond to a treatment, and a classification logic that classifies the nodule tissue based, at least in part, on the set of features or the probability. A prognosis or treatment plan may be provided based on the classification of the image.

Co-inventors include Dr. Philip Linden and Robert Gilkeson from University Hospitals, BME graduate student Nathaniel Braman and former CCIPD research associates Dr. Mahdi Orooji and Mirabela Rusu.
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 ( 
MetroHealth 3rd Annual Cancer Center Symposium
Aug 31, 2018 | MetroHealth
MetroHealth logo You are invited to attend  MetroHealth System's 3rd annual Cancer Center Symposium.  The theme for the symposium is "Palliative Care and Oncology: Teamwork in a Changing Care Environment." Contact  Jennifer Prechtel at  for more information. 
ideastream - Aug 14, 2018
Cleveland;s role in developing new and better ways to treat cancer got a boost during a recent visit from the director of the National Cancer Institute (NCI).  Doctor Norman "Ned" Sharpless delivered the keynote address on Wednesday, the closing day of a three-day conference, about cancer stem cells on the campus of Case Western Reserve University...During his stop in Cleveland, Dr. Sharpless toured the Case Comprehensive Cancer Center and got a firsthand look at some of the innovative work going on in local research labs...ideastream's Kay Colby sat down with NCI Director Norman Sharpless and Dr. Stan Gerson, Director of the Case Comprehensive Cancer Center, to discuss NCI's priorities, cancer stem cells, and the importance of developing the next generation of cancer researchers.
Newswise - Aug 14, 2018
University Hospitals Seidman Cancer Center launched a new clinical trial for CAR-T, joining a select group of hospitals offering the therapy and a smaller group of hospitals manufacturing the CAR-T cells.  CAR-T therapy has been called a "living drug" and is part of a rapidly emerging immunotherapy approach called adoptive cell transfer (ACT), which collects and uses patients' own immune cells to treat their cancer. There are several types of ACT, but CAR-T cell therapy is showing the most promise in clinical development, according to the National Institutes of Health (NIH).
UH's clinical trial will use CAR-T cells made from a patient's own genetically-modified white blood cells, called T-cells, to boost their immune system to detect and attack their cancer.  The Phase I clinical trial, funded by UH Seidman, will study the safety of CAR-T therapy for Non-Hodgkin's lymphoma, a cancer that starts in white blood cells called lymphocytes. The clinical trial aims to enroll 12 to 15 current UH adult patients with Non-Hodgkin's lymphoma who have not responded to standard therapies. Paolo Caimi, MD, Case Comprehensive Cancer Center, hematologist/ oncologist at UH Seidman and Associate Professor of Medicine at Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine, serves as the principal investigator of the study..."CAR-T cell therapy has a huge potential to cure leukemias and lymphomas," said Dr. Marcos de Lima, MD, co-Leader, Hematopoietic and Immune Cancer Biology Program at the Case Comprehensive Cancer Center, Director of Hematologic Malignancies and the Stem Cell Transplant Program at UH Seidman and Professor of Medicine at CWRU School of Medicine. "It's not a widespread application yet, but the potential is huge."
The Scientist - Aug 1, 2018
T wo independent research teams have used single-cell RNA sequencing to generate detailed molecular atlases of mouse and human airway cells. The findings,  reported in  two   studies  today (August 1) in Nature, reveal the gene-expression patterns of thousands of lung cells, as well as the existence of a previously unknown cell type that expresses high levels of the gene mutated in cystic fibrosis, the cystic fibrosis transmembrane conductance regulator (CFTR)...These studies are "very exciting work [and] a wonderful example of how new technologies that have come online in the last few years-in this case single-cell RNA sequencing-have made a very dramatic advance in our understanding of aspects of biology," says Ann Harris, Case Comprehensive Cancer Center, a geneticist at Case Western Reserve University who did not participate in either study.
Linda K. Arena Endowed Scholarship Award
For Lung Cancer Education
Deadline: Oct 1, 2018
University Hospitals Seidman Cancer Center is seeking applications for the annual Linda Arena Scholarship Award (in the amount of $ 6,500.00) designated toward lung cancer education and research in all aspects of lung cancer that directly may impact patient care.

All disciplines are encouraged to apply including students, residents, fellows, attending physicians, and nurses. The one page application form is attached and should describe how this award will be utilized (i.e. research support, conference, supplies, books and/or travel, etc.) as well as the specific area of the applicant's interest. The criteria for selection include the following:
  1. Demonstrable interest in lung cancer treatment or prevention.
  2. Intent to apply knowledge to care of lung cancer patients.
American Cancer Society IRG Awards
  • ACS logo Pilot funding for CANCER-RELATED research with a basic, clinical, prevention & control, behavioral, health services, or epidemiological focus.
  • Up to $30,000 award.
  • Applications accepted for general cancer-related projects and for special interest projects in adolescent-and-young-adult cancer research.
IRG pilot project grants are intended to support independent, self-directed investigators early in their careers (usually assistant professor or equivalent). Applicants for the pilot project grants should be within 6 years of their first independent research or faculty appointment and eligible to apply for an independent national competitive research grant, but do not currently hold such a cancer-related grant.
Core Utilization Pilot Grants
Deadline: First day of each month
CTSC logo The Clinical and Translational Science Collaborative (CTSC) of Case Western Reserve University Core Utilization Pilot Award Program supports investigator use of eligible Core facilities at our partner institutions. This program is designed to collect preliminary data that will lead to extramural sponsored grant funding and/or publications in peer-reviewed journals. Awards up to $10,000 are available.  This program is intended to promote the use of technologies and expertise afforded by identified Core Facilities available at all partner institutions.
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.
2018 Sartorius & Science Prize in Regenerative Medicine and Cell Therapy
Deadline: Oct 1, 2018
Sartorius & Science Prize for Regenerative Medicine & Cell Therapy is an annual prize aimed at supporting and encouraging scientists focused on basic or translational research that advances medical progress in regenerative medicine and cell therapy. Established in 2017, the prize is awarded for outstanding research performed by the applicant and as a mutual endeavor to raise awareness for the field and its fundamental significance for our future.
NIH BULLETIN- Notices and Funding Opportunities
Program Announcements
Pediatric Immunotherapy Discovery and Development Network (PI-DDN)(U54 - Clinical Trial Not Allowed)(RFA-CA-19-003)
Deadline: Dec 17, 2018

Pediatric Immunotherapy Discovery and Development Network (PI-DDN)(U01 - No Clinical Trial Allowed)(RFA-CA-19-004)
Deadline: Dec 17, 2018

Advancing Translational and Clinical Probiotic/Prebiotic and Human Microbiome Research (R01 Clinical Trial Optional)(PA-18-902)
Deadline: Standard dates apply
Thurs, Aug 23
Developmental Therapeutics Journal Club
9a R4-013 Cleveland Clinic
Fri, Aug 24
Tobacco Intervention and Psychosocial Support Service (TIPS) Retreat
8a WRB 1422
Tues, Aug 28
Cancer Imaging Monthly Meeting
Susann Brady-Kalnay
1:30p Wearn B-37
Thurs, Aug 30
Developmental Therapeutics Journal Club
9a R4-013 Cleveland Clinic
Fri, Aug 31
MetroHealth 3rd Annual Cancer Center Symposium
MetroHealth Medical Center

Taussig Cancer Institute Grand Rounds
8a CA5-120


Deadline: Open

Deadline: Open

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