March 12, 2021
Message from the Associate Directors
Reflecting on the 5th Annual Cancer Disparities Symposium
Last week, 230 attendees joined us virtually for the 5th Annual Cancer Disparities Symposium. Our two-day event, themed "Navigating Cancer Disparities: Lessons Learned and How to Move Forward," fostered conversation among researchers, clinicians, community outreach groups, patient advocates, trainees and key stakeholders from community-based organizations, local government officials, private foundations, and commercial businesses—from across 23 states coast to coast and one country outside the United States. 
Our Community Keynote speaker was Dr. Worta McCaskill-Stevens, Chief of the Community Oncology and Prevention Trials Research Group, which houses the National Cancer Institute (NCI) Community Oncology Research Program (NCORP). Her presentation focused on opportunities and challenges in partnerships between community and academic oncology, highlighting the need for innovative clinical trial design and analysis to reduce disparities and advance equity among underserved populations. Dr. Otis Brawley, the Bloomberg Distinguished Professor of Oncology and Epidemiology at Johns Hopkins University, presented our Scientific Keynote presentation. Dr. Brawley's talk challenged us to consider the importance of increasing cancer prevention efforts and ensuring optimal basic health care for all to advance cancer control in the 21st century. These talks were complemented by engaging presentations on COVID and cancer, minority enrollment in clinical trials, the interplay of biology and social determinants of health in cancer, and a moving session on the personal, physical, and financial experiences of cancer. Our two-day event was topped off with a powerful panel discussion featuring speakers from earlier sessions as well as other national and local leaders in cancer disparities. 

With our virtual format and two-day agenda, we were able to find new and creative ways to keep our attendees engaged. For the first time in our symposium history, we invited local high school students to attend our keynote sessions on both days, with a special follow-up session with Case CCC faculty and Community Advisory Board members. We also introduced a common reading, Just Medicine: A Cure for Racial Inequality in American Healthcare by Dayna Bowen Matthew, which was used as a starting point for small group discussions. Our attendees also made great use of our Whova app's features, using the Community board to connect and share ideas. Symposium presentations and materials are accessible on Whova for six months, and attendees are encouraged to view them as often as they like.
Associate Director for Associate Director for Cancer Population Sciences
Co-Director, Cancer Disparities Symposium
Case Comprehensive Cancer Center
Associate Director for Community Outreach and Engagement
Co-Director, Cancer Disparities Symposium
Case Comprehensive Cancer Center
Member/Center Highlights
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10th Annual UH Rainbow Babies & Children's and Case Western Reserve University "Shave It Off!" event taking place virtually on Saturday
The event will be streamed LIVE on YouTube.
This Saturday, March 13, marks the 10th Annual "Shave It Off!" event held by Case Western Reserve University (CWRU) and University Hospitals Rainbow Babies & Children's Hospital (UH Rainbow) to benefit the St. Baldrick's Foundation. St. Baldrick’s is a strong partner and supporter of our research programs, with over $1,000,000 in funds raised at these events having come back to support pediatric cancer research at the Angie Fowler Adolescent and Young Adult Cancer Research Institute (Angie's Institute) at UH Rainbow and the Case Comprehensive Cancer Center at CWRU. Between UH Rainbow and CWRU, we currently have doctors and researchers working on projects funded by seven St. Baldrick’s grants.
For the 13th consecutive year, physician-scientist Alex Huang, MD, PhD will be shaving his head during the event. Dr. Huang is a pediatric oncologist at Angie's Institute and Co-Leader of the Hematopoietic and Immune Cancer Biology Program at Case Comprehensive Cancer Center.

Dr. Huang will be shaving his head between 11:20 and 11:40 am ET and will then knight shavees who have shaved for either 7 or 10 consecutive years during a knighting ceremony from 11:40 am - 12 pm.

Those interested in supporting the event may shave their head, donate their hair, or go green to help raise funds and awareness. The event is also hosting a basket raffle with over 35 baskets to choose from, including a #6 Cleveland Browns jersey signed by Baker Mayfield.
Apply by Monday, March 15 for summer federal grant writing workshop
The Case Comprehensive Cancer Center invites applications to participate in a summer-long, weekly federal grant writing workshop. The longitudinal workshop will occur Wednesday afternoons from 3:00 to 4:30 pm, beginning April 28, 2021 and ending August 4, 2021 (note: the first two sessions on April 28 and May 5 will be 3:00-5:00 pm).

The program will be capped at 10 individuals, necessitating a competitive application process. The review committee will prioritize Early Career Faculty but will consider applications from more Senior Faculty. The program will focus on writing a successful grant application for cancer-related NIH R01 grants. Those accepted to the program will be notified in early April 2021. The deadline for submissions is Monday, March 15, 2021.
Artificial intelligence tool for reading MRI scans could transform prostate cancer surgery and treatment
From The Daily: Researchers at the Center for Computational Imaging and Personalized Diagnostics (CCIPD) at Case Western Reserve University have preliminarily validated an artificial intelligence (AI) tool to predict how likely the disease is to recur following surgical treatment for prostate cancer.

The tool, called RadClip, uses AI algorithms to examine a variety of data, from MRI scans to molecular information. The research team included Cleveland Clinic, University Hospitals and the Louis Stokes Cleveland Veterans Administration Medical Center. Further study is required before this tool can be moved to the clinical space.
“We’re bringing together and connecting a variety of information, from radiologic scans like MRI to digitized pathology specimen slides and genomic data, for providing a more comprehensive characterization of the disease,” said Anant Madabhushi, PhD, CCIPD director, the Donnell Institute Professor of Biomedical Engineering at Case Western Reserve and the study’s senior author. Dr. Madabhushi is a member of the Case Comprehensive Cancer Center (Case CCC) Cancer Imaging Program.

Also affiliated with the Case CCC and contributing to the paper, published in The Lancet's EBioMedicine, were Rakesh Shiradkar, PhD, Pingfu Fu, PhD, Lee Ponsky, MD, Eric Klein, MD, and Christina Buzzy, PhD.
What's Coming Up
Mark Your Calendar
Cancer Center Seminar Series
TODAY, March 12, 2021, 12p via Zoom
Today's Cancer Center Seminar features Thomas Gajewski, MD, PhD, presenting on behalf of the Hematopoietic and Immune Cancer Biology Program at noon via Zoom.

Dr. Gajewski is the AbbVie Foundation Professor of Pathology and a professor of the Ben May Department of Cancer Research at the University of Chicago.

He investigates and develops new treatments for patients with melanoma and has a special interest in the development of immunotherapies against this disease. Dr. Gajewski also leads development of immune-based therapies for other cancers, using new laboratory data on how the immune system is regulated to develop novel clinical trials.

Dr. Gajewski serves as an editor for Cancer Research and Journal for Immunotherapy of Cancer. In addition, he is immediate past president of the Society for Immunotherapy of Cancer and has served on the program committees for the American Society for Clinical Oncology (ASCO) and the American Association for Cancer Research (AACR).
Cancer Center Seminar Series
Friday, March 19, 2021, 12p via Zoom
Next week's Cancer Center Seminar features Robin Vanderpool, DrPH, presenting on behalf of the Cancer Prevention, Control & Population Research Program.

Dr. Vanderpool is Chief of the Health Communication and Informatics Research Branch, Division of Cancer Control and Population Sciences at the National Cancer Institute (NCI).

As branch chief, Dr. Vanderpool leads the development of health communication research initiatives in areas such as cancer communication surveillance, patient-provider communication, cancer risk communication, health literacy, social/new media, and connected health. Dr. Vanderpool also contributes to the Division's efforts to support NCI-designated cancer centers' community outreach and engagement activities.

Dr. Vanderpool's scientific background includes both formative and interventional research on HPV vaccination, cancer screening, cancer survivorship, implementation science, and rural cancer control.
Save the Date! Annual Scientific Retreat
July 22-23, 2021
The 2021 Annual Scientific Retreat for members and trainees is scheduled for July 22-23!

As you may know, this is one of the few times a year our entire center is able to enjoy the company of one another and collaborate.

Further information and retreat logistics will be posted in this weekly newsletter and distributed via email to members closer to the retreat.
VeloSano logo
VeloSano 8 Bike to Cure Weekend
Date Change: September 10-12, 2021

We are looking ahead with optimism to VeloSano 8 (2021), with a goal of providing opportunities to reunite our VeloSano community in a variety of safe and meaningful ways!

VeloSano's hope is to offer options for anyone to participate in any way they are most comfortable - whether riding with us during "Bike to Cure" weekend September 10-12; riding virtually, or by choosing your own activity to participate anytime, anywhere as a Virtual Fundraiser.

The Case Comprehensive Cancer Center, Team Case CCC, will be joining VeloSano again this year and providing complimentary registration for its riders. Additional registration details will be posted in the coming weeks. Please contact team captains Caroline El Sanadi or Mary Wright with any questions!
Additional Upcoming Events
4th Annual International PTEN Symposium
Monday, March 15, 2021
The Genomic Medicine Institute and Center for Personalized Genetic Healthcare at Cleveland Clinic invite you to join the virtual 4th Annual International PTEN Symposium: From Patient-Centered Research to Clinical Care. They are planning an engaging day with an emphasis on advances in the diagnosis, management and treatment of patients with PTEN Hamartoma Tumor Syndrome (PHTS).

Pier Paolo Pandolfi, MD, PhD, FRCP, senior scientist at the Renown Institute for Cancer and honorary professor of molecular biology at the University of Turin, will deliver the morning keynote address. Neil Friedman, MBChB, pediatric neurologist and director of quality, outcomes, and innovation at Barrow Neurological Institute at Phoenix Children’s Hospital, will deliver the afternoon keynote address on the neurological spectrum of PHTS. Other topics include hormone use and high-risk patients, gynecological cancer risks, updates on PTEN clinical trials, and autism. Please refer to the symposium agenda for more details about this year’s speakers and topics.
NCCN Annual Conference
March 18-20, 2021 | Virtual
In response to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, the National Comprehensive Cancer Network (NCCN) has transitioned the NCCN 2021 Annual Conference to a to a live virtual format.

Designed to meet the needs and improve the competence and performance of the interprofessional oncology care team, including physicians, nurse practitioners, nurses, physician assistants, pharmacists, and other relevant health care professionals who manage the care of patients with cancer, this three-day virtual event will offer more than 35 educational sessions covering a range of topics such as:

  • Updates to NCCN Clinical Practice Guidelines in Oncology (NCCN Guidelines®) 
  • New and emerging therapies, controversies in treatment, and best practices in the delivery of oncology care  
  • Issues surrounding HPV vaccination  
  • Racial disparities in guideline-adherent cancer care  
  • Effects of the pandemic on cancer care  
  • Best practices for incorporating patient-reported outcomes into oncology care

Throughout this three-day virtual event, educational sessions will include a mix of challenging case reviews, interactive polling, and moderated Q&A providing participants the opportunity to reinforce knowledge and develop strategies for the management of a variety of cancers.
AACR Annual Meeting 2021
April 10-15 and May 17-21, 2021 | Virtual
The AACR Annual Meeting program covers the latest discoveries across the spectrum of cancer research—from population science and prevention; to cancer biology, translational, and clinical studies; to survivorship and advocacy—and highlights the work of the best minds in research and medicine from institutions all over the world.

Regular abstracts and the meeting itinerary planner are now available.
Cell-Based Therapies and Tissue Engineering Short Course
May 19-20, 2021
The Skeletal Research Center and the Department of Biology of Case Western Reserve University are pleased to present the twentieth annual short course entitled: “Cell-Based Therapies and Tissue Engineering”, running from May 19 through May 20, 2021.

Registration is now open. The 2021 program is here. To download a flyer, please click here.

Who Should Attend:
This course is intended for graduate students, post-graduate students and health science professionals who are interested in tissue engineering and regenerative medicine approaches with emphasis on translational research principles and protocols used or being modeled for direct clinical use.
2021 Race for the Place
June 6, 2021 | Virtual
Race for the Place in support of The Gathering Place, takes place the first Sunday in June on National Cancer Survivors Day. The Race, a 5K and 1 Mile walk, is a wonderful celebration of cancer survivors and an opportunity to raise money to support the free programs and services provided at The Gathering Place to help children, teens, adults, individuals, families and friends cope while on the cancer journey.

Registration is now open!
AACI Clinical Research Innovation 13th Annual Meeting
July 13-15, 2021 | Virtual
Registration is now open for the 13th Annual AACI CRI Meeting, Adapting Clinical Trials Offices for 2021 and Beyond which will be held virtually July 13-15. The program will provide panel discussions with content experts and breakout sessions for our members and abstract winners and runners-up will be acknowledged in poster sessions.

Abstract Deadline March 15
The CRI Steering Committee is currently soliciting abstracts for the CRI meeting. Abstracts inform meeting attendees about clinical trials office challenges and solutions implemented at AACI cancer centers.

More information, including the program and registration, is now available on the CRI meeting website.
Funding Opportunities
Available award: Up to $40,000
LOI Deadline: March 26, 2021
Full Application Deadline: April 23, 2021
Available award: $75,000 for one year
LOI Deadline: April 2, 2021
Full Invited Application Deadline: April 16, 2021
Available award: Up to $120,000 for one year
Deadline: April 16, 2021
Available award: $75,000 for 18 months
Deadline: April 16, 2021
Available award: $180,000 for 18 months
Deadline: April 16, 2021
Available award: $25,000 for one year
Applications accepted and awarded on a rolling basis

Internal LOI deadline: March 17, 2021
The BCA Exceptional Project Grants provide $100,000 of support for one year. Two Case CCC applicants will be selected for submission. If selected, the full application deadline is July 23, 2021.

Internal LOI deadline: April 14, 2021
The BCA Young Investigator Grants provide $125,000 of support for two years. Two Case CCC applicants will be selected for submission. If selected, the full application deadline is July 23, 2021.
Internal LOI Deadline: March 17, 2021

One Case CCC applicant will be selected to apply for either the V Scholar Program or the Translational Research Program.

The V Scholar Program provides $200,000 of support for two years and the Translational Research Program provides $600,000 of support for three years.
Internal LOI Deadline: March 31, 2021

One Case CCC applicant will be selected to apply for the V Scholar Adult Cancer Research Program, which provides $200,000 of support for two years.
Pew Charitable Trusts
Internal LOI Deadline: April 14, 2021

The Pew-Stewart Scholars for Cancer Research Program provides $75,000 of support per year for four years. One Case CCC applicant will be selected for submission. If selected, the full application deadline is September 9, 2021.
Deadline: April 12, 2021

Conquer Cancer, the ASCO Foundation, has established a new grants program to foster research that uses data derived from the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) Survey on COVID-19 in Oncology Registry (ASCO Registry) to inform the cancer community about the patterns of symptoms and severity of COVID-19 among patients with cancer, as well as how COVID-19 is impacting the delivery of cancer care and patient outcomes. The grant includes research funding of $30,000 per grant and access to deidentified ASCO Registry data. The grants are supported by Conquer Cancer’s COVID Impacts Cancer Fund.
In The News
MSN News - March 3, 2021
Mark Cameron, PhD, associate professor at the School of Medicine and a member of the Case CCC, commented on how the achievement of herd immunity could be fleeting and have differing strengths as a protective force given the vastness of human populations spread across the globe—highlighting the potential for ongoing booster shots.
Advisory - March 9, 2021
The Cleveland Clinic and University Hospitals are two of the largest health systems in Ohio, and they're direct competitors. But this past spring, the two health systems came together to help combat the COVID-19 epidemic and are looking to continue their partnership in the future.
Both institutions are partners of the Case CCC.
From The NIH
NCI supports NIH Effort to End Structural Racism in Biomedical Research
On March 1, Francis S. Collins, MD, PhD director of the National Institutes of Health, launched a new initiative designed to end structural racism in biomedical research called UNITE. In his statement, Dr. Collins committed NIH to instituting new ways to support diversity, equity, and inclusion, and identifying and dismantling any policies and practices that may harm our workforce and our science.

As part of this initiative NIH has issued a Request for Information seeking input on practical and effective approaches to improve and strengthen racial equity, diversity, and inclusion across all facets of the biomedical research enterprise, both within NIH and the external community, and expand research to eliminate or lessen health disparities and inequities.

On behalf of NIH, we invite you to share your perspective and recommendations as we thoughtfully consider our proactive approach to address racial and health inequities in biomedical research. Comments can be submitted through the submission website and must be received by April 9, 2021.

Please read NCI’s statement, in support of ending structural racism in biomedical research in its entirety.

As we continue to support NIH with the UNITE initiative and further develop our own initiatives to help combat this systemic issue at NCI, we will continue to update you and invite the communities’ input and recommendations.
Weekly NIH Funding Opportunities and Notices
COVID-19 Funding Opportunities and Notices
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