July 24, 2020
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Member/Center Highlights
Cancer Researchers Receive Continued Support from St. Baldrick's to Develop New Pediatric Cancer Treatments
Cancer researchers Alex Huang, MD, PhD, Reshmi Parameswaran, PhD, and Yamilet Huerta, MD, have been awarded $315,000 in grants from the St. Baldrick's Foundation to conduct research of new immunotherapy treatments for pediatric cancers. The awards include a summer fellowship for Melissa Bonner, a second-year Medical Scientist Training Program (MSTP) student, who started her PhD thesis work in Huang's laboratory.
Above (left to right): Alex Huang, Reshmi Parameswaran, Yamilet Huerta, Melissa Bonner
Dr. Huang is professor of pediatrics at Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine and co-leader of the Hematopoietic and Immune Cancer Biology Program of the Case Comprehensive Cancer Center (Case CCC). He received both a research grant and funding support Melissa Bonner's summer fellowship in his laboratory. With his research grant, he will begin development of a novel biomarker that would predict clinical response for advanced muscle tumor, Rhabdomyosarcoma, using immunotherapy through cryoablation—a procedure during which ultra-cold liquid nitrogen is used to kill tumor cells and activate the patient’s immune system.

Parameswaran and Huerta each received funding to continue projects to create better treatments for acute myeloid leukemia (AML), the second-most common form of acute leukemia in children.

An assistant professor in the division of hematology and oncology at the School of Medicine, Dr. Parameswaran is a member of the Hematopoietic and Immune Cancer Biology Program at the Case CCC. She received a fifth year of funding for her St. Baldrick's Scholar Award to continue to develop a new immunotherapy strategy using Natural Killer (NK) cells, a type of white blood cells with potential to kill cancer cells.

Dr. Huerta is an instructor of pediatrics at the School of Medicine, a member of the Huang lab and a pediatric hematology/oncology fellow at University Hospitals Rainbow Babies & Children's Hospital. She is engineering T-cells that are capable of binding to a specific target on AML cells while “engaging” neighboring T-cells, mounting an immune response and killing cancer cells.
Genome-Scale Analysis Identifies Novel Transcript-Variants in Esophageal Adenocarcinoma
A study published in Cellular and Molecular Gastroenterology and Hepatology ( Purkayastha, 2020, Cell Mol Gastroenterol Hepatol) used genome-scale analysis to identify novel gene isoforms, or transcript-variants, in esophageal adenocarcinoma (EAC). Identification of these transcript variants may be used to develop future biomarkers and/or therapeutic targets to fight this increasingly prevalent and aggressive esophageal malignancy.
Kishore Guda
Gene isoforms are alternative RNA and/or protein signals produced from the same gene, explained study lead Kishore Guda, DVM, PhD, associate professor of oncology and pathology at the Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine and member of the Case Comprehensive Cancer Center. To date, the prevalence and significance of such alternative transcript isoforms in EAC remains unknown. This study represents the first genome-wide analysis identifying novel transcript-variants induced in EAC, and a step toward better understanding their role in tumor formation.
Virtual Velosano: Thank you to Team Case CCC and Supporters!
VeloSano 2020: 1 very hot weekend, 43 members of Team Case CCC and over $17,500 raised (and counting) for lifesaving cancer research at Northeast Ohio's top-tier hospitals and research institutions. Currently, our team is in the top 20 for fundraising, and we're not done yet!

Despite the shift to  Virtual VeloSano, we pressed on and remained committed to participating in their chosen activities - biking, hiking, walking and yes, even gardening. Fundraising for this year's event will continue through October 1, 2020. Thank you to our committed team members, those who have donated and all who have cheered them on!
Gullett earns Family Physician of the Year Award
The Case Comprehensive Cancer Center (Case CCC) extends congratulations to Heidi Gullett, MD, MPH associate professor in the School of Medicine, received the Family Physician of the Year Award from the Ohio Academy of Family Physicians (OAFP). Dr. Gullett is a member of the Case CCC's Cancer Prevention Control & Population Research Program and a familiar face to Cuyahoga County residents as she serves as the Medical Director of the Cuyahoga County Board of Health, coordinating the county's COVID-19 public health response.

The honor is bestowed upon an individual noted for high professional standards, high-quality and family-centered continuing health care, and community engagement.

“Being a good family physician requires a steadfast commitment to bring your best every day so that each person you encounter, whether patient or co-worker, knows that you genuinely care about them and that you will stand beside them in times of joy and difficulty,” she said in a press release announcing the honor.

Please join us in congratulating Heidi on this accomplishment and thanking her for her public service ensuring the health and safety of our community during this time.
Sen Gupta awarded $3.8M from DOD to Develop Freeze-Dried Artificial Platelets
Anirban Sen Gupta, PhD, professor of biomedical engineering at Case Western Western Reserve University, has been awarded a $3.8 million grant from the U.S. Department of Defense (DOD) to develop freeze-dried artificial platelets that can treat bleeding in wounded soldiers in the battlefield before they are taken to a hospital. He is a member of the Case CCC's Cancer Imaging Program.

From The Daily: Since 2007, Dr. Sen Gupta and his lab have worked on a variety of platelet-inspired technologies along with other projects in drug delivery and nanomedicine. This new work builds on some of that research. He work with collaborators at the University of Pittsburgh for in vivo testing and manufacturing partners at Haima Therapeutics, a biotechnology company he co-founded in 2016.
Watch "Bill Bikes 4 Bobby" featuring Case CCC Researchers
Get a glimpse of a coast-to-coast bike ride in a new video compiled by the I'm Not Done Yet Foundation.

In memory of his nephew, Bobby Menges, Bill Menges set out on two wheels on May 12, 2020 to benefit the foundation raising funds and awareness for Adolescent and Young Adult (AYA) cancer.

The video also features Case Comprehensive Cancer Center members Alex Huang, MD, PhD, Peter Scacheri, PhD and Jacob Scott, MD, DPhil.

With generous support from the I’m Not Done Yet Foundation, Dr. Huang’s lab has been hard at work to research new and potentially more effective, less toxic therapies for children and teens battling sarcoma and other cancers.
Case CCC COVID-19 Resource Hub
As the COVID-19 outbreak progresses, the Case Comprehensive Cancer Center (Case CCC) has centralized COVID-19 related news, resources and funding opportunities for our cancer center community. Content is updated regularly.

To have a cancer-focused resource added to the page, please email  cancer@case.edu.
What's Coming Up
Mark Your Calendar
Today: Virtual Annual Scientific Retreat Day 2
Begins at noon!

Today's member and trainee session will begin at 12:00 pm with a keynote presentation from Timothy Rebbeck, PhD, the Vincent L. Gregory, Jr. Professor of Cancer Prevention at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health and the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute.
Dr. Rebbeck is founding director of the Zhu Family Center for Global Cancer Prevention at the Harvard TH Chan School of Public Health and leads the Cancer Outreach and Engagement activities for the Dana-Farber Harvard Cancer Center. He will present, "Confronting Cancer Health Disparities: From Cells to Society."

Following a short break, members will then be placed in Zoom breakout sessions for their assigned research programs for discussion of initiatives, collaborations and cancer center support of projects through pilots and shared resources.

Forgot to register?
Please contact Mary Wright at maw143@case.edu) for access to today's meetings.

Missed yesterday's 2nd Annual TED-style talks or want to watch them again?
Recordings will be available on our YouTube channel soon and announced in the newsletter when posted.
Early Bird Registration Now Open: Artificial Intelligence in Oncology Symposium 2020
October 19-20, 2020

The second annual Artificial Intelligence in Oncology Symposium will bring together experts in AI and machine learning as well as clinical, industry and federal agency experts in pathology, radiology, drug discovery, and ethics and policy to speak on research developments, regulatory policy, reimbursement and ethics surrounding AI in oncology. For the health and safety of all attendees, this year's symposium will take place virtually.

The symposium will feature four focused sessions, with speakers and panel discussions providing unique perspectives on how AI and machine learning are impacting the major areas of radiology, pathology and -omics in the contexts of precision medicine approaches for characterizing tumors and predicting therapeutic response.

Beyond the science, attendees will be able to network and enjoy a special session highlighting some of the brightest rising stars in the field of AI in oncology, selected from abstract submissions. Call for abstracts releasing soon!

Geraldine McGinty, MD, MBA, FACR will present the symposium plenary, "Fostering a Strong Ecosystem for AI in Medical Imaging." Dr. McGinty is an internationally recognized expert in imaging economics, Chair of the American College of Radiology Board of Chancellors and Chief Strategy and Contracting Officer at Weill Cornell Medicine in New York City.

Additional keynotes in drug discovery, ethics & policy and pathology will be delivered by Russ Altman, MD, PhD of Stanford University, Aashima Gupta, MS of Google, Vinay Prasad, MD, MPH of the University of California, San Francisco, and Yinyin Yuan, PhD of the Institute of Cancer Research, London. Learn more about AIO 2020 speakers.
Additional Upcoming Events
Society of Neuro-Oncology Virtual Conference on Brain Metastases
August 14, 2020
The Society for Neuro-Oncology, in association with the AANS/CNS Section on Tumors, is pleased to announce its virtual Conference on Brain Metastases.

This live event will feature select abstract presentations and invited lectures from the originally scheduled in-person meeting which was set to take place in Toronto. Join the exciting and diverse program on August 14, 2020, from 11am - 4pm (US ET).
NCCN Oncology Policy Virtual Summit
 September 9, 2020
The Summit will explore diverse perspectives related to emerging models to drive down healthcare costs in the United States and their potential impact on access to high-quality cancer care. Major themes of the summit will include an overview of legislative and regulatory efforts to reduce health costs, the current state of value-based payment models, and the impact of these models on providers and patients with cancer. The summit will also explore the unique implications of policies intended to curb costs for rural and other underserved populations.

If you have any questions, please contact Terrell Johnson, Manager, Policy and Advocacy, johnson@nccn.org.
NCCN 2021 Annual Conference: Call for Abstracts
Abstract Deadline: November 11, 2020
NCCN is now accepting abstracts for consideration to be presented during the NCCN 2021 Annual Conference General Poster Session at the Rosen Shingle Creek in Orlando, Florida on Thursday, March 18 and Friday, March 19, 2021. NCCN welcomes original abstracts from investigators in the general oncology community. Submissions will be accepted from academic institutions, teaching and community hospitals, or industry. Both NCCN and non-NCCN institutions may participate.

Research may fall into the general areas below:

  • Clinical Oncology (all phases)
  • Pre-Clinical Oncology
  • Epidemiology/Risks/Prevention
  • Correlative/Genomic
  • Best Practices in Implementation and Use of Clinical Practice Guidelines
  • Quality Improvement
  • Outcomes and Health Services Research
  • Bioinformatics/Information Technology Sciences
Funding Opportunities
Deadline: August 1, 2020
To improve the discovery and advancement of innovative cancer therapeutics, the Case Comprehensive Cancer Center (Case CCC) has initiated a Drug Discovery Initiative and is providing seed funding toward the development of novel cancer therapeutics. To access funding, investigators must participate in the decennial Case CCC Drug Discovery Census. All therapeutic approaches and modalities are welcome! Projects at all stages are welcome! BE COUNTED! The Census is simple to complete and open to all Case CCC Members. Applications will be accepted until August 1, 2020.

Award Description
  • Awards will be milestone-based and project-specific.
  • Our aim is to select a number of projects for seed funding and to continue to support projects that achieve key milestones.
  • Total funds committed to this RFA are $250,000.
  • Note that projects proposing small-molecule approaches will be considered for additional funding opportunities.
The Case Comprehensive Cancer Center is now accepting applications for the Fall 2020 pilot funding opportunities:

  • Available award: $75,000 for one year
  • LOI Deadline: August 10, 2020
  • Full Invited Application Deadline: August 31, 2020

  • Available award: $120,000 for one year
  • Deadline: August 31, 2020

  • Available award: $75,000 for 18 months
  • Deadline: August 31, 2020

  • Available award: $180,000 for 18 months
  • Deadline: August 31, 2020

Questions? Contact casecccpilots@case.edu or Julie DeJager Glavic at 216.368.5780.
The Kidney Cancer Association (KCA) is now accepting applications for its Young Investigator Awards which support promising early-career researchers in urology and clinical oncology who are planning to pursue an investigative career in kidney cancer. Four $75,000 awards are available.

KCA's priority research areas currently include cure or durable therapeutic response, improved screening and surveillance, neoadjuvant and adjuvant treatment strategies, and non-clear cell renal cell carcinoma.

These awards encourage promising researchers in urology and clinical oncology who are planning to pursue an investigative career in kidney cancer.
Nomination Submission Deadline: September 18, 2020
National and international nominations are being sought for the 2021 Harrington Prize for Innovation in Medicine, which honors a physician-scientist who has moved science forward with achievements notable for innovation, creativity and the potential for clinical application.

The Harrington Prize, which carries a $20,000 honorarium, is a collaboration between the Harrington Discovery Institute at University Hospitals in Cleveland, Ohio--part of The Harrington Project for Discovery & Development and the American Society for Clinical Investigation (ASCI), one of the nation's oldest and most respected medical honor societies. The Harrington Discovery Institute is a nonprofit institute dedicated to supporting physician-scientists, and all scientists in areas of unmet therapeutic need, in their work to transform discoveries into medicines for the benefit of society.
In The News
UPI - July 6, 2020
"A 15 percent reduction among this vulnerable group is a very large effect to have happened in such a short period," said Johnie Rose, MD, PhD about earlier cancer detection in low-income Americans since 2014 from the Medicaid expansion under the ACA. Dr. Rose is a member of the Case CCC's Cancer Prevention Control & Population Research Program.
NBC News - July 21, 2020
" Eric Klein, MD a urologist at the Taussig Cancer Institute at Cleveland Clinic, called the findings 'another validation, adding to the several other studies that have been published, that cancers do release bits of DNA into the bloodstream that can be detected at low levels.'" Dr. Klein is a member of the Case CCC's GU Malignancies Program.
From The NIH
Weekly NIH Funding Opportunities and Notices
COVID-19 Funding Opportunities and Notices
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