newsletter masthead
May 10, 2019
Dr. Stan Gerson Stan Gerson, MD
Director, Case Comprehensive Cancer Center
2019 Cancer Center Directors Meeting
On April 30, 2019 I attended the annual National Cancer Institute (NCI) center directors meeting at the NCI. This meeting provides valuable updates and information on the status of the NCI and the field of cancer research. I'd like to share this information with you and welcome your thoughts and feedback. 

The day was filled with a number of status update presentations by the NCI, with the addition of tobacco issues and presentations about the national effort in smoking exposure reduction for cancer patients (here led by Monica Webb Hooper), and by FDA on regulatory issues including e-cigs.  The day's presentations can be found here.
Following are some key take-aways:

First, it is assumed likely that acting NCI director Doug Lowy will maintain his position until the next political turning point.

The low funding payline is recognized by NCI and has caused disruptions in awards for R01 and P01. While there has been a 50% increase in applications, many due to an increase in immune-oncology research, it has been recognized that this payline is too low. It is also adversely affected by money diverted to specific efforts of the Moonshot RFAs such as pediatric cancers. While this has led to an increase in total awards, the payline is still low. Overall PRGs represent 41% of the NCI budget and does not include the commitment to SPOREs and cancer centers.
Our center participates in tissue submission for and access to human tumor xenografts (PDX). The NCI program is now expanded to >1000 samples with paired organoids and nml fibroblasts from the primary tumors.
Risk Factors
Second to smoking reduction, the NCI has recognized obesity as the next major cancer lifestyle risk and would like additional efforts in risk reduction management.
Clinical Trials
The National Clinical Trial Network (NCTN) program progress has expanded with NCI Community Oncology Research Program  ( NCORP clinical trial sites contributing 28% of total accruals, reminding us that network and community sites are important nationally, even if less prominent in our area.
The complexity of genomic driven treatment, as evidenced by the results of MATCH studies, now indicate that 6793 patients have had genomic analysis and 944 entered into clinical therapeutic trials, or about 15%.
Finally, Jim Doroshow provided an overview of how the NCI will coordinate distinct subset patient clinical trials across the NCTN groups that will yield new therapeutics we will have access to.
Director Stan Gerson, MD Visits "Live on Lakeside"
Case Comprehensive Cancer Center (Case CCC) Director Stan Gerson, MD joined Patti Berns on WKYC's "Live on Lakeside" Wednesday afternoon to share more about "The Race" taking place this Sunday, May 12. Now in it's 16th year, The Race is a 5K and 1-mile walk/run held annually on Mother's Day at Legacy Village in Cleveland, OH to make a difference in the lives of those touched by breast cancer by raising awareness and money for innovative breast cancer research. This year, the event founders, the Berns family, graciously selected the Case CCC to be beneficiaries of proceeds from the event. 

Gerson and Berns Live on Lakeside
Dr. Gerson and Patti Berns interviewed on "Live on Lakeside"

The  2019  Race  event will also honor two breast cancer survivors from  the  Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine community:  Dean  Pamela B. Davis, MD, PhD and associate professor  Nicole Ward, PhDRegistration for The Race will begin at 7:30 am with the 5K beginning at 8:30 am, followed by the 1-mile walk/run at 9:30 am. Please consider  joining our team and making a donation in support of these inspiring women! Watch the interview>
Aging-cancer and Obesity-cancer Research Require New Mechanistic Understandings
Distinguished University Professor Nathan A. Berger, MD, currently serves as the Hanna-Payne
Professor of Experimental Medicine. He is also Director of the Center for Science, Health and Society and professor of medicine, biochemistry, oncology, genetics and genome sciences at Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine.

Dr. Berger was recently interviewed for the journal Translational Cancer Research as a well-reputed field expert. "The linkages between energy balance, aging, obesity and cancer provided exciting and challenging opportunities for translational science including the possibility for interrogation at the laboratory level with extension to human interventions," he said. Read more about his research efforts, what he sees as critical issues in the fields of aging-cancer and obesity-cancer and what advice he gives for young researchers in the full interview>
CANCELLED: Cancer Center Seminar Series: " Prediction and Prevention of Treatment-Related Adverse Effects in Cancer Survivors"
May 10, 12p | WRB Auditorium

Unfortunately, today's seminar is cancelled as our guest speaker, Smita Bhatia, MD, MPH, was not able to make it to Cleveland as her flight was cancelled due to weather. We apologize for any inconvenience and hope to see you next week for our final seminar of the 2018-2019 series.
Cancer Center Seminar Series: Special Presentation: Helen Moss Integrative Oncology Lecture
May 17, 12p | WRB Auditorium

The final weekly seminar of the 2018-2019 series will be held Friday, May 17 in the Wolstein Research Building Auditorium. Join us at noon to hear Peiying Yang, MS, PhD present, "Natural Products for the Development of Novel Anticancer Therapies. "

Dr. Yang is associate professor in the Department of Palliative, Rehabilitation and Integrative Medicine, Division of Cancer Medicine at The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center. Her research examines the effects of traditional Chinese medicine, natural products and dietary supplements  for treatment or prevention of cancer and symptom management.
Expanding Research Together: A Team Building Experience in Global Biomedical Innovation and Entrepreneurship
May 23, 9a-4p | Linsalata Alumni Center, CWRU

The CWRU Clinical & Translational Science Collaborative CTSC logo (CTSC) is hosting a symposium, Expanding Research Together: A team-building experience in global biomedical innovation and entrepreneurship, Thursday May 23rd, 9am-4pm at the Linsalata Alumni Center. 

The program will include keynote speakers, pitch-style scientific presentations and workshops on team-building or building an elevator pitch. Join the CTSC with their partners, Taipei Medical University, to learn about global collaboration and innovation and network with people from across the globe.

Admission is free, but registration is required.  Details and registration>
Team Case CCC VeloSano Fundraiser
June 7, 5-8p | Tavern of Little Italy

Join Team Case Comprehensive Cancer Center on Friday, June 7 for a fundraiser benefitting VeloSano. The event will take place from 5-8 pm at The Tavern of Little Italy (TOLI), 12117 Mayfield Rd, Cleveland, OH 44106.

Tickets, sold at the door, are $40 and include 2 drink tickets, 1 raffle ticket, food, live entertainment and valet parking. Both cash and Venmo will be accepted as payment.

Planning on attending? Help us estimate expected catering needs by sending a quick RSVP to Mary Wright ( by Friday, May 31.
Cancer Center Annual Scientific Retreat
July 25-26, 2019 

Save the date for the 2019 Case Comprehensive Cancer Center Annual Scientific Retreat! 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.

The retreat will begin at 3 pm on Thursday, July 25 at the Tinkham Veale University Center with TED-style talks from prominent Cleveland research leaders. Following the talks will be a reception including cocktails and heavy hors d'oeuvres.

There will once again be poster presentations by students, post-docs and fellows on Thursday evening. Trainees, fellows and students are encouraged to submit abstracts by 5 pm on Friday, July 5.

The retreat will continue with breakfast beginning at 7:45 am on Friday, July 26 at Corporate College East. The morning will feature a keynote address by Anil K. Rustgi, MD , Director of the Herbert Irving Comprehensive Cancer Center and leading cancer researcher of gastrointestinal tumors. Scientific presentations from cancer center members are scheduled throughout the day and are broken up into 5 thematic areas with breakout sessions to follow. Register today>
Artificial Intelligence in Oncology: Advancements and Policy
Oct 24, 2019 | Tinkham Veale University Center, CWRU

Save the date for the Case Comprehensive Cancer Case CCC logo Center's inaugural Artificial Intelligence in Oncology Symposium taking place Thursday, October 24, 2019 at Tinkham Veale University Center 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.

The symposium will feature a number of focused panel discussions and international scientists providing unique perspectives on how analytics can impact 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, explore potential new partnerships and visit exhibitors throughout the day.  Sign up to receive updates>
Mary Wright, Assistant Director of Programming Operations

In September 2017, Mary Wright joined the Case
Comprehensive Cancer Center  as Assistant Director of Programming Operations after serving as Executive Assistant to former University Hospitals Chief of Hematology and Oncology, Dr. Neal Meropol. In short, if it's happening at our center, she knows about it and likely coordinated it! This includes our events, conferences, symposiums and meetings.

In addition to her role, Mary is also Co-Captain of the Case CCC VeloSano Bike Team and the bowman for her women's rowing team in the Western Reserve Rowing Association. 

Mary is the catalyst behind the scenes for any and all events that our center takes on. If you see her running around, be sure to stop and thank you for her tireless efforts. She even let us put her in front of a camera without warning! Check out her "Why I Ride" video for our VeloSano team promotion.
Hartwell Individual Biomedical Research Award
CWRU Internal Deadline: May 13, 2019

Since 2011, eight Case Western Reserve University faculty members have been selected for Hartwell Individual Biomedical Research awards. The foundation funds 12 Hartwell Investigators annually for their innovative, early-stage, cutting-edge biomedical research that has the potential to benefit children in the USA. These awards provide funding to individual researchers in the U.S. for three years, at $100,000 direct cost per year. 

Projects should represent early-stage biomedical research that has not yet qualified for significant outside funding, including those not yet submitted for funding consideration. The Foundation is looking for research projects that are early-stage, innovative and cutting-edge, and will only consider funding those proposals that reflect relevance in terms of potential benefit to children in the US. Visit the CWRU Office of Research Administration's website for more information> 
VeloSano Catalyst Fellowship
Deadline: June 7, 2019

With the generous support from VeloSano Bike to Cure 2018, the Case CCC is providing seed funding for Case CCC Trainee Associate Members to perform their "dream experiment." Up to 5 research projects may be funded at $10,000 per award which must be completed within 1 year.

The experiment should catalyze highly innovative and impactful projects and help strengthen fellowship and career development grant applications. The intent of the award is to support a single or limited set of innovative experiments, not for general laboratory supplies/projects or maintenance of the trainee's project.  more>
Congressionally Directed Medical Research Programs
Deadlines Vary

The Department of Defense's Congressionally Directed CDMRP logo Medical Research Programs ( CDMRP ) recently released additional funding opportunities. Pre-application and application deadlines vary by award. Click each program below to view award announcements and application instructions.

  • Breakthrough Award Levels 1 and 2
  • Breakthrough Award Level 3
  • Breakthrough Award Level 4
  • Clinical Trial Award
  • Health Disparity Research Award
  • Translational Science Award
  • Synergistic Population and Data Science Award
ABC 4 - May 3, 2019
Cleveland Clinic's Halle Moore, MD comments on a study showing an elevated risk of breast cancer after childbirth, noting that breast cancer is still most common in women after menopause. Dr. Moore is a member of the Case CCC's Cancer Prevention, Control & Population Research Program.
NIH BULLETIN - Notices and Funding Opportunities
HHS issues Four (4) PHS 2019-2 SBIR and STTR Omnibus/Parent Grant Solicitations

Notice of Participation of NCI in PAR-19-156 "Bioengineering Research Partnerships (U01 Clinical Trial Not Allowed)" and PAR-19-157 "Bioengineering Research Partnerships (U01 Clinical Trial Required)"

Notice to Extend the Expiration Date for PA-18-141 "Mechanisms, Models, Measurement, & Management in Pain Research (R01 Clinical Trial Optional)"

Notice to Extend the Expiration Date for PA-18-159 "Mechanisms, Models, Measurement, & Management in Pain Research (R21 Clinical Trial Optional)"

Notice of Correction to Eligibility Information in PAR-18-466, The NCI Transition Career Development Award (K22 Independent Clinical Trial Required)

Notice of Correction to Eligibility Information in PAR-18-467, The NCI Transition Career Development Award (K22 Independent Clinical Trial Not Allowed)

Notice to Extend the Response Date for NOT-RM-19-001 Request for Information (RFI): Institutional Accountability to Promote Inclusive Excellence

Notice of Intent to Publish a Funding Opportunity Announcement for BRAIN Initiative: Proof of Concept Development of Early Stage Next Generation Human Brain Imaging (R01 Clinical Trial Not Allowed)

Notice of Intent to Publish a Funding Opportunity Announcement for BRAIN Initiative: Development of Next Generation Human Brain Imaging Tools and Technologies (U01 Clinical Trial not allowed)

Notice of Special Interest: Administrative Supplements to Enhance Inclusion of Native Hawaiian/Other Pacific Islander Populations in Minority Health and Health Disparities Research

Requests for Applications

PHS 2019-02 Omnibus Solicitation of the NIH for Small Business Technology Transfer Grant Applications (Parent STTR [R41/R42] Clinical Trial Not Allowed(PA-19-270)
Deadline: Standard Dates Apply

PHS 2019-02 Omnibus Solicitation of the NIH for Small Business Technology Transfer Grant Applications (Parent STTR [R41/R42] Clinical Trial Required(PA-19-271)
Deadline: Standard Dates Apply

PHS 2019-02 Omnibus Solicitation of the NIH, CDC, and FDA for Small Business Innovation Research Grant Applications (Parent SBIR [R43/R44] Clinical Trial Not Allowed(PA-19-272)
Deadline: Standard Dates Apply

PHS 2019-02 Omnibus Solicitation of the NIH, CDC, and FDA for Small Business Innovation Research Grant Applications (Parent SBIR [R43/R44] Clinical Trial Required(PA-19-273)
Deadline: Standard Dates Apply

Dissemination and Implementation Research in Health (R01 Clinical Trial Optional)(PAR-19-274)
Deadline: Standard Dates Apply

Dissemination and Implementation Research in Health (R21 Clinical Trial Optional)(PAR-19-275)
Deadline: Standard Dates Apply

Dissemination and Implementation Research in Health (R03 Clinical Trial Not Allowed)(PAR-19-276)
Deadline: Standard Dates Apply

Exploratory Grants in Cancer Epidemiology (R21 Clinical Trial Optional)(PAR-19-277)
Deadlines: June 7, 2019; October 8, 2019; June 8, 2020; October 8, 2020; June 8, 2021; October 8, 2021
Fri, May 10
CANCELLED: Cancer Center Seminar Series
Mon, May 13
Shared Resources Directors Meeting
12p WRB 1-422D

Special Lecture: CWRU Center for Community Health Integration Faculty Candidate
Yong Yang, PhD
Health Geographer
Assistant Professor, Social and Behavioral Science
School of Public Health
University of Memphis
"Agent-Based Modeling in Health Behavior: Applications, Potentials and Challenges"
12p WRB 1-223B

Cancer Center Research Chalk Talk
1p WRB 3-136

CCLRI Distinguished Lecture in Cancer Research
Richard Treisman, PhD
Director of Research
Head, Signaling and Transcription Group
The Francis Crick Institute
4p Bunts Auditorium, Cleveland Clinic
Reception to follow
Thurs, May 16
Developmental Therapeutics Journal Club
9a NE6-218

Molecular Biology and Microbiology Virology Journal Club
1p SOM W203
Fri, May 17
Taussig Cancer Institute Grand Rounds
David Porter, MD
University of Pennsylvania
Philadelphia, PA
"CAR T Cells: On The Road to a Cure"
8a CA5-120

Innovators in Biomedical Engineering Speaker Series
Herbert Levine, PhD
Professor, Physics and Bioengineering
Northeastern University
"What is Epithelial-Mesenchymal Plasticity and Why Is It Important for Metastasis?"
11a NE1-205

Cancer Center Seminar Series: Helen Moss Integrative Oncology Lecture
Peiying Yang, MS, PhD Associate Professor Department of Palliative, Rehabilitative and Integrative Medicine Division of Cancer Medicine 
The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center
"Natural Products for the Development of Novel Anticancer Therapies"
12p WRB Auditorium
Mon, May 20
Cancer Center Research Chalk Talk
Kishore Guda, DVM, PhD
1p WRB 3-136

Wolstein Research Building Faculty Meeting with Stan Gerson
3:30p WRB
Tues, May 21
Cancer Drug Discovery and Resistance
Yan Yan and My Nguyen
Gerson Lab, Hematology and Oncology, CWRU
3p WRB 1-422D
Thurs, May 23
Developmental Therapeutics Journal Club
9a N E 6-218

CTSC Symposium: Expanding Research Together
9a-4p Linsalata Alumni Center, CWRU

Molecular Biology and Microbiology Seminar
1p SOM W203
Fri, May 24
Taussig Cancer Institute Grand Rounds
CCF Only
M & M Conference
8a CA5-120

Deadline: Open

Deadline: Open

Deadline: Open
Case Comprehensive Cancer Center