newsletter masthead
August 2, 2019
Dr. Stan Gerson Stan Gerson, MD
Director, Case Comprehensive Cancer Center

Remembering Anne Duli
Last week, we notified members of our cancer center
Anne Duli photo
community of the passing of Anne Duli, our friend,  champion and  former Associate Director for Administration and Finance following a long battle with breast cancer.

Anne's life was truly a blessing to all she encountered. A memorial service will be held for Anne on Saturday, August 17 at 11 am at Harkness Chapel on the Case Western Reserve University campus. Please join us in celebrating her life full of love, laughter and kindness.
Annual Scientific Retreat - Inspiration, Education, Collaboration
What a terrific Annual Scientific Retreat we had this past Thursday and Friday! Congratulations to all who presented, participated and especially to the organizing committee led by Kishore Guda and Jennifer Yu.

The feedback from the TED Talks was almost as enthusiastic  as the TED Talks  themselves.  The 
content was refreshing, the messages were stimulating and the lasting impressions, inspiring. I encourage all of you to keep information flow transformation and hololens, leadership skill training, and implementation of effective improvements in wellbeing and patient care top of mind. Recordings of the talks will be forthcoming. We will solicit next year's speakers before you know it, so keep those great ideas coming!

The Scientific Retreat on Friday was buzzing all day, with a wonderful talk from Anil Rustgi, newly appointed director of the Herbert Irving Comprehensive Cancer Center at Columbia University Medical Center on the genetics and progression of pancreatic cancer. Individual presentations covered the full spectrum of our cancer center. Most importantly, attendance at the program breakout sessions were both well attended and very productive with many new ideas for collaborative grants and pilot awards as well as discussion of needed technology. You have given the cancer center much to work on and much in invest in (your good ideas, not ours!).

We are distributing all of the minutes from the breakout sessions to program leaders. If you have a lingering thought, send it along to either the program leaders or me and we will act on them!

Have a great rest of the summer, but remember those next NIH grant deadlines and opportunities to begin a novel clinical investigation!
Researchers Discover New Combination Therapy to Treat Drug-Resistant Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia
Acute lymphoblastic leukemia accounts for  one in five  adult leukemias, and is the most common pediatric cancer in the United States. While new immune therapies have helped improve survival rates, some patients are unresponsive to existing treatment regimens. In addition, drug-related toxicities and drug resistance are rampant for these patients, spurring an urgent need for new therapy options.
Researchers from Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine have developed a new combination treatment regimen that enhances the immune system's ability to kill leukemias that do not respond to standard treatments. The regimen includes a therapeutic antibody designed to draw natural killer immune cells to cancer cells. The antibody attached specifically to acute lymphoblastic cancer cells as early as 30 minutes after treatment, and remained attached for two days, serving as a flag to attract natural killer immune cells. The researchers were able to maximize the antibody's efficacy by adding a second, anti-tumor molecule to the regimen.
Results published in  Cancer Immunology Research describe how the antibody attaches to a specific protein on the surface of acute lymphoblastic leukemia cells (B-cell Activating Factor, or BAFF-R). Once the antibody attaches to a cancer cell, natural killer cells also attach to the antibody and this antibody acts like a bridge connecting cancer cells to natural killer cells, where it quickly gets to work destroying the cancer cell. The antibody connects with natural killer cells through a second protein commonly found on their surfaces (CD16).
The researchers,  Reshmi Parameswaran, PhD,  assistant professor in the Department 
Vicioso and Parameswaran
of Medicine and MD/PhD student in her lab and th
Department of Pathology, 
Yorleny Vicioso , created a new acute lymphoblastic leukemia mouse model for the study. They used mouse models with growing, drug-resistant cancer cells collected from human patients. Then, they tested treatments over the course of disease progression-starting with the antibody alone.

The custom BAFF-R antibody is currently being tested as a therapy to treat  autoimmune diseases and  rheumatoid arthritis in two clinical trials. The TGF-beta inhibitor was recently tested in a first-in-human clinical trial for treatment for  advanced-stage solid tumorsThe new mouse model study provides critical preclinical data to support combining the two treatment in human trials. more>
Eng Awarded $1.6M for Breast Cancer Research
The Case Comprehensive Cancer Center (Case CCC) extends congratulations to Cleveland Clinic researcher and Case CCC member,  Charis Eng, MD, PhD as she was recently awarded a five-year, $1.6 million grant from the Gray Foundation.

The award will support investigation of how the breast microbiome interacts with the immune system to influence breast cancer growth and progression. Eng will be joined by two additional Case CCC Members, Stephen Grobmyer, MD and Jacob Scott, MD, DPhil in the multidisciplinary collaboration. more>
Graduate Student Award for Excellence
Congratulations to Tyler Alban, a graduate student in
Justin Lathia, PhD's lab as he received the Graduate Student Award For Excellence from the Cleveland Clinic Lerner Research Institute earlier this week. The award recognizes his work on immunophenotyping myeloid-derived suppressor cells (MDSCs) in gliomas.
6th Annual Data Science in Life Sciences and Engineering Symposium
August 5-6, 8a | Tinkham Veale University Center

Next week,  Case Western Reserve University (CWRU) School of Medicine  along with the School of Engineering will be hosting faculty members and students from Tohoku University (Sendai, Japan) for a 2-day  data  and life  science  symposium at the Tinkham Veale University Center. 

The symposium brings together researchers from CWRU CWRU SOM logo - png and Tohoku University to discuss and share ideas on  data  science in engineering and life  science. Symposium sessions will include topics on systems biology and biomedical informatics as well as immunology and metabolomics. A poster session will feature  data  science research from students, postdocs and faculty of CWRU and Tohoku University. Monday's program includes a keynote from Zhenghe (John) Wang, PhD, Vice Chair for Faculty Development, Department of Genetics and Genome Sciences and Co-Leader of the GI Cancer Genetics Program at the Case Comprehensive Cancer Center.

The event is free, but registration is required. View the full program and register>
Cancer-focused Summer Undergraduate Research (CanSUR) Symposium
August 7, 9a-12p | WRB Auditorium

The CanSUR Program Symposium will be held Wednesday, August 7 from 9 am to 12 pm in the Wolstein Research Building auditorium. Please join us as our 32 CanSUR scholars present their research as short, 3-minute "elevator pitch" presentations.

Following the presentations, a luncheon will be held as we close out the first year of our program. If you would like to attend the luncheon, please RSVP to Gena Richmann (
Cancer Center Guest Seminar
August 12, 2p | WRB Auditorium

All are welcome to join us on Monday, August 12, 2019 in the Wolstein Research Building Auditorium, 3-136 at 2pm for a guest seminar featuring Boaz Tirosh, PhD. Dr. Tirosh is the David Eisenberg Chair in Pharmacy at the Institute for Drug Research, School of Pharmacy at The Hebrew University of Jerusalem.

Dr. Boaz will present, "Pharmacological Induction of Selective Endoplasmic Reticulum Retention as a Novel Strategy for Cancer Therapy."
State of Chronic Disease Disparities in the African American Community Conference
August 16-17, 2019 | DoubleTree Beachwood

Join the Northeast Ohio Black Health Coalition (NEOBHC), hundreds of public attendees and scholars from across the country as they present the State of Chronic Disease Disparities in the African American Community: Getting to the Root through Education, Advocacy & Empowerment Conference. The conference will convene on August 16-17, 2019 from 8 AM - 4:30 PM, at the DoubleTree Hilton Hotel Beachwood East, 3663 Park East Drive, Beachwood, Ohio 44122.  

Designed to examine how political and social policies have contributed to chronic disease disparities, the conference will examine the past, present and future and the roles of policies in the elimination of chronic disease disparities. Some of the topic areas highlighted at the conference include:
  • Cancer Care
  • Community Engagement
  • Cultural Competency
  • Diabetes Prevention and Control
  • Environmental Health
  • Healing and Empowerment
  • Holistic Health/Naturopathy
  • Infant Mortality
  • Mental Health
  • Opioid Crisis in the African American Community
  • Physical Activity and Nutrition
  • Religion and Chronic Disease
  • Sickle cell
Registration for the two-day conference is $100 and includes breakfast, lunch and program materials. For more information, please contact Yvonka Marie Hall, Executive Director at NEOBHC@hotmail.comRegister and purchase tickets>
Multidisciplinary Colorectal Oncology Course
Oct 18-19, 2019 | Naples, FL

The 6th Annual Multidisciplinary Colorectal Oncology Course will take place October 18-19, 2019 at Naples Beach Hotel & Golf Club in Naples, FL. The  national symposium will focus on providing an in-depth and up-to-date review of the multidisciplinary management of colorectal cancers. Oncologists, surgeons, radiation oncologists, and nurses with an interest in the management of patients with colorectal cancer should attend this course.

Various continuing education credits are available for the course. The deadline for registration is 5 pm (PST), Sunday, October 13, 2019. Learn more and register>
Early Bird Registration: Artificial Intelligence in Oncology Symposium
Oct 24, 2019 | Tinkham Veale University Center

On October 24, the Case Comprehensive Cancer Center will host the inaugural Artificial Intelligence in Oncology Symposium: Advancements in Policy at Case Western Reserve University.

The symposium will bring together experts in AI and machine learning  as well as clinical, industry and federal agency experts in pathology, radiology, oncology and immuno-oncology to speak on research developments, regulatory policy, reimbursement and ethics surrounding AI.

Symposium Highlights:
  • Focused panel discussions
  • Networking opportunities
  • Exhibitions available throughout the day
Be sure to register by August 30, 2019 to secure our discounted early bird registration. A discounts for students and trainees who wish to attend is available. We look forward to seeing you in October!  Save your seat>
Innovators in AYA Cancer: Driving Science and Policy toward a Brighter Future for Teens and Young Adults with Cancer
Nov 14-15, 2019 | Tinkham Veale University Center
Registration will be opening very soon for the Case Comprehensive Cancer Center's AYA Oncology Symposium taking place November 14-15, 2019 at Tinkham Veale University Center at Case Western Reserve University! Sign up to receive updates>
Melanie Prestage, Training and Education Program Administrator
In March of this year, Melanie Prestage joined the Case
Comprehensive Cancer Center administration team as Education and Training Program Administrator. Prior to that she worked in the Case Western Reserve University (CWRU) School of Engineering for nearly five years as an assistant to the Chair of Materials Science and Engineering.

In her current role, Melanie develops, directs and manages a variety of training and education programs in the Case Comprehensive Cancer Center (Case CCC) and the National Center for Regenerative Medicine (NCRM), including the  Master's of Science in Regenerative Medicine & Entrepreneurship (RGME). You can find her in the Wolstein Research Building, office 3-520.

Melanie earned her Bachelors of Business Administration from Baldwin Wallace College. In addition, she also has a certificate in Communication and Professional Skills from CWRU Weatherhead School of Management.
Therapeutic Development Initiative (TDI) - Funding for High-Impact Pediatric Cancer Research
Proposals are accepted and reviewed  continuously

Solving Kids' Cancer (SKC) is a nonprofit organization
with a  track-record of funding novel clinical research for children diagnosed with high-risk solid tumors specifically neuroblastoma, brain tumors and sarcomas.

The Therapeutic Development Initiative (TDI) is SKC's platform for the implementation of our research agenda. The TDI's goal is to support innovative early phase clinical studies that are high on the risk/reward spectrum. Priority is given to proposals that introduce novel therapeutic agents and modalities and have a strong potential to improve treatment outcomes.

Awards range from $50,000 to $500,000. Learn more>
NSF: Advanced Computing Systems & Services: Adapting to the Rapid Evolution of Science and Engineering Research
LOI Deadline: August 23, 2019

The National Science Foundation (NSF) is requesting proposals to provide advanced CI capabilities and/or services to support the full range of computational- and data-intensive research across all of S&E.

NSF strongly urges the community to think broadly, NSF logo including such considerations as ease of access to proposed systems/services by new communities in S&E; new capabilities that will enable new methods and paradigms for S&E discoveries; and opportunities for leveraging the increasing availability and capabilities at the network edge (including campuses) and via commercial cloud services.

A successful proposal must clearly demonstrate how the proposed resource will support transformative discoveries in S&E. This may be done through a combination of analytical models projecting the anticipated performance of the proposed resource, appropriate benchmark results, and compelling empirical evidence validating that the resource will be a valuable scientific instrument for S&E discovery; and opportunities for leveraging the increasing availability and capabilities at the network edge (including campuses) and via commercial cloud services.

Newswise - July 30, 2019
UH Cleveland Medical Center's Seidman Cancer Center, part of the NCI-designated Case Comprehensive Cancer Center ranked in the Top-30 nationally in cancer.

Cleveland Clinic No. 1 in Heart Care for 25th Consecutive Year
Cleveland Clinic Newsroom - July 30, 2019
Cleveland Clinic, part of the NCI-designated Case Comprehensive Cancer Center, ranked in the Top-10 nationally in cancer.
Crain's Cleveland - July 17, 2019
Cleveland Clinic researcher and Case CCC member, Vincent Tuohy, PhD has been developing a method to vaccinate women against contracting breast cancer, focused specifically on the most lethal form of the disease: triple negative breast cancer (TNBC).
NIH BULLETIN - Notices and Funding Opportunities
Notice of Correction to RFA-RM-19-008 "NIH Director's Early Independence Awards (DP5 Clinical Trial Optional)"

Notice of Special Interest: Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) and Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) Applications Directed at the Adoption of the Fast Healthcare Interoperability Resources (FHIR) Standard

Funding Opportunities
Clinical Characterization of Cancer Therapy-induced Adverse Sequelae and Mechanism-based Interventional Strategies (R01 Clinical Trial Optional)(PAR-19-325)
Deadlines: September 30, 2019; February 11, 2020; September 30, 2020; February 11, 2021; September 20, 2021; February 11, 2022

Participant Engagement and Cancer Genome Sequencing (PE-CGS): Research Centers (U2C Clinical Trial Optional)(RFA-CA-19-045)
Deadlines: October 30, 2019; July 30, 2020  

Participant Engagement and Cancer Genome Sequencing (PE-CGS): Coordinating Center (U24 Clinical Trial Not Allowed)(RFA-CA-19-046)
Deadlines: October 30, 2019; July 30, 2020 

Revision Applications to Support the Application of Informatics Technology for Cancer Research (U01 Clinical Trials Optional)(RFA-CA-19-061)
Deadline: November 20, 2019

Revision Applications to Support the Application of Informatics Technology for Cancer Research (R01 Clinical Trials Optional)(RFA-CA-19-062)
Deadline: November 20, 2019 

Revision Applications to Support the Application of Informatics Technology for Cancer Research (U24 Clinical Trials Optional)(RFA-CA-19-063)
Deadline: November 20, 2019 
Sun, Aug 4
Miles for Melanoma 5K Run/Walk
7:30a Edgewater Park
Mon, Aug 5
6th Annual Data Science in Life Science and Engineering Symposium
9a Tinkham Veale University Center
Tues, Aug 6
6th Annual Data Science in Life Science and Engineering Symposium
9a Tinkham Veale University Center
Weds, Aug 7
CanSUR Symposium
9a WRB Auditorium
Thurs, Aug 8
Developmental Therapeutics Journal Club
9a NE6-218

Molecular Biology and Microbiology Virology Journal Club
1p SOM W203
Fri, Aug 9
UH Seidman Cancer Center Grand Rounds
8a Wearn 137
Sat, Aug 10
Susan G. Komen Cleveland "More Than Pink" Walk
9:45a Wade Oval
Mon, Aug 12
Guest Seminar
Boaz Tirosh, PhD
David Eisenberg Chair in Pharmacy, Institute for Drug Research, School of Pharmacy, The Hebrew University of Jerusalem
"Pharmacological Induction of Selective Endoplasmic Reticulum Retention as Novel Strategy for Cancer Therapy"
2p WRB Auditorium
Tues, Aug 13
Cancer Impact Lecture
James Phillips, PhD
1p NE1-205
Weds, Aug 14
UH HemOnc Grand Rounds - Soft Tissue Sarcoma Program
Shreyaskumar Patel, MD
Robert R. Herring Distinguished Professor of Medicine
Medical Director, Sarcoma Center
The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, Houston
CME credit and continental breakfast provided.
8a Wearn 137
Thurs, Aug 15
Developmental Therapeutics Journal Club
9a NE6-218

Molecular Biology and Microbiology Virology Journal Club
1p SOM W203

Deadline: Open

Deadline: Open

Deadline: Open
Case Comprehensive Cancer Center