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November 16, 2018
Monica Webb Hooper
Monica Webb Hooper, PhD
Associate Director of Cancer Disparities Research, Director of the Office of Cancer Disparities Research, Case Comprehensive Cancer Center

CDC Reports Cigarette Smoking Among US Adults Lowest Ever Recorded
Last week, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) released findings from the CDC, Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the National Cancer Institute (NCI) that cigarette smoking has reached the lowest level ever recorded among US adults, 14% in the year of 2017.

The release notes that the percentage of US adult smokers has declined 67% since 1965 with 10% of young adults aged 18 to 24 reporting as "every day" or "some day" smokers, down from 13% in 2016. Still, an estimated 34 million US adults, approximately 14%, were current cigarette smokers in 2017.

While the decline is encouraging, notable disparities remain as the CDC reports cigarette smoking as the "leading preventable cause of death and disease in the United States." Tobacco cessation researcher Monica Webb Hooper, PhD, Associate Director for Cancer Disparities Research and Director of the Office of Cancer Disparities Research in the Case Comprehensive Cancer Center, weighed in on the findings, disparities and continued battle against tobacco use.

"The CDC report demonstrates the persistent efforts of those in all areas of the tobacco control movement, which began just a few decades ago. We have not seen a 14% current cigarette smoking prevalence this low since such surveillance began," said Dr. Webb Hooper. "However, there remains much work to be done. These data indicate that 34 million individuals in the US remain smokers. Moreover, some populations have not benefited equally from our tobacco control victories. For example, the Midwest states to exceed the national average for smoking and cities such as Cleveland continue to have high rates. These are concerns that need to be addressed." 

As the principal investigator for the Tobacco, Obesity, and Oncology Laboratory, Dr. Webb Hooper is a leader in cancer health disparities and has received international recognition for her contributions to nicotine and tobacco research. With continued surveillance, research and implementation of comprehensive tobacco control programs, the United States may be able to accelerate the decline in smoking, responsible for the considerable hardship of death and disease from tobacco use.
VeloSano Raises more than $4.5M for Cancer Research at Cleveland Clinic
Last week, VeloSano announced at the VeloSano Bash: Revealing the Cash celebration that the 2018 event raised a total of $4,513,293 for cancer research at Cleveland Clinic. The year-round fundraising initiative surrounding an annual "bike to cure" weekend is known for directing 100% of dollars raised to research efforts across the organization. Brian Bolwell VeloSano " Our goal remains to discover more about the causes of cancer and develop better ways to treat it, with the ultimate goal of discovering a cure. We remain humbled and thankful for the support of VeloSano," said Brian J. Bolwell, MD, FACP, chairman of Cleveland Clinic's Taussig Cancer Institute, professor of medicine at Case Western Reserve University and deputy director for Cleveland Clinic, Case Comprehensive Cancer Center (Case CCC).
In the event's fifth year, the Case CCC team was recognized in the top 15 fundraising teams, bringing in a total of $62,636. Several members of the Center were also recognized for top individual fundraising accomplishments including those who rode "virtually." We are looking forward to next year's event, scheduled for July 19-21, and will provide additional information as registration opens for VeloSano 6 next month. Details about VeloSano Pilot Award RFAs will be provided in future Case CCC newsletters.  more>
Huang Awarded $1.35M from St. Baldrick's Foundation and Osteosarcoma Collaborative for Lifesaving Childhood Cancer Research
Program Director of Pediatric Hematology and Oncology at University Hospitals Cleveland Medical Center, professor of pediatrics at Case Western Reserve University's School of Medicine, and leader of the  C ase
Alex Huang Comprehensive Cancer Center  Hematopoietic and Immune Cancer Biology Program,  Alex Huang, MD, PhD   has received a 3-year grant totaling $1.35 million. Huang and his multi-disciplinary team are researching how different cells of the immune system work within the metastatic osteosarcoma tumor sites in the lung tissue. With this insight, they aim to create various immune-based clinical trials for treatment of pulmonary metastatic osteosarcoma in pediatric, adolescent and young adult patients.  more>
Cancer Innovation Pilot Awardees Announced
The Case Comprehensive Cancer Center has made pilot award selections following a recent RFA. Selected  projects were recognized as highly innovative and impactful, and likely to generate key data for larger, nationally competitive grants. Investigators were permitted to submit transformative proposals for technology development, biological or therapeutic questions, novel concepts in catchment-based research, or topics with potential to overturn dogma. Each project will be granted $50,000 in seed funding.

The Center selected the following 3 proposals from 4 primary and co- investigators: 
  • Reshimi Parameswaran, MS, PhD: "Developing BAFF-R CAR-T cells to target malignant B cells"
  • Sichun Yang, PhD and Hung-Ying Kao, PhD: "Targeting cross-talk between domains in estrogen receptor
  • Zhenghe John Wang, PhD: "New Paradigm: Protein tyrosine nitration in tumorigenesis"
Abazeed Receives $100K Lung Cancer Discovery Award
Cleveland Clinic researcher and radiation oncologist  Mohamed  Abazeed, MD, PhD, has been awarded   a 1-year, $100,000 grant from the American Lung Association.  Dr. Abazeed is a member of  the GI Cancer Genetics Program, Case
Comprehensive Cancer Center, and assistant professor of medicine at Case Western Reserve University. He  has proposed a highly orchestrated effort to identify how tumor architecture affects the treatment of the most common type of non-small cell lung cancer, lung adenocarcinoma.

"The variation between groups of individuals with the
same tumor type permits the optimization of care by the creation of 'baskets' of individuals that are more similar and therefore more likely to respond to specific agents ( e.g.  EGFR activating mutations and tyrosine kinase inhibitors) However, despite impressive initial clinical responses, there is variability in the extent of response even within homogeneous 'baskets' and resistance to targeted therapies ultimately ensues. The extent that these failures are attributed to the topographic differences in genomes within tumors, or  intra tumoral heterogeneity, remains poorly studied," said Abazeed.

The award is given to highly meritorious projects aimed at revolutionizing the current understanding of lung cancer and improving diagnostic, clinical and treatment methods. more>
Cancer Center Seminar Series: "Regulation of the tumor microenvironment by
Kindlin-2 in breast cancer "
Nov 16, 12p | WRB Auditorium

Khalid Sossey-Alaoui Join us Friday, November 16 at 12p in the WRB Auditorium to hear K halid Sossey-Alaoui, PhD present " Regulation of the tumor microenvironment by
Kindlin-2 in breast cancer. Dr. Sossey-Alaoui is project staff, molecular cardiology at Cleveland Clinic, assistant professor of molecular medicine and member, Case Comprehensive Cancer Center at Case Western Reserve University.

His team is using  a multidisciplinary approach to investigate  how a ctin cytoskeleton - remodeling proteins WAVE3 and Kindlins  regulate the invasion - metastasis cascade i breast cancer. more>
3rd Annual Cancer Disparities Symposium
Mar 1, 2019 | Tinkham Veale University Center
Disparities Banner 2019-final
The 3rd Annual Cancer Disparities Symposium will be held Friday, Mar 1, 2019. 


Registration is now OPEN for this symposium.  
Click here for registration information.

2019 Symposium Highlights
  • Eliseo J. Pérez-Stable, MD, Director, National Institute on Minority Health and Health Disparities (NIMHD), National Institutes of Health (NIH), will discuss cancer disparities research trends and funding opportunities. 
  • Rick Kittles, PhD, Associate Director of Health Equities at City of Hope, will give a research-focused presentation on cancer disparities research. 
  • An entire afternoon session is devoted to research aligned with abstract submissions; this includes oral presentations from selected abstracts, plus a poster session. Students who submit an abstract can attend this symposium free of charge. 
  • The audience for this symposium is diverse in background and field, allowing attendees to interact, network, and expand their knowledge and opportunities for collaboration.
Call for Abstracts

The Case Comprehensive Cancer Center invites multidisciplinary researchers, community agencies and organizations to submit abstracts for presentation at the 3rd Annual Cancer Disparities Symposium. Abstracts will be divided into two tracks: Scientific Research and Community Programs. Meritorious abstracts will be selected for oral presentations. 

**Students who submit an abstract are able to register for FREE! Submit your abstract to   BEFORE  registering. You will be emailed a discount code to be entered on the registration form so that you receive the discount. 


Abstracts must be submitted via email ( ) by 5pm EST on December 21, 2018.
NCI logo
The National Cancer Institute has informed on the availability of the following two re-issuance funding opportunity announcements ( FOAs):

Pre-application: Opportunities for Collaborative Research at the NIH Clinical Center (X02 Clinical Trial Optional)
Deadlines: December 11, 2018; December 11, 2019; December 11, 2020 

Opportunities for Collaborative Research at the NIH Clinical Center (U01 Clinical Trial Optional)
Deadlines:  April 15, 2019; April 15, 2020; April 15, 2021

The X02 pre-application is the highly-recommended first step in the U01 cooperative agreement application process.

Major changes from the previous FOAs (for X02s and U01s) under this program include:
  • Max project period increased to 5 years from 4 years
  • Patients must be seen at the NIH Clinical Center
  • Clinical Center costs no longer charged to the grant except for the cost of drugs that are the subject of the study
  • A single Institutional Review Board required for any multi-site study that will use the same protocol to conduct non-exempt human subjects research at more than one domestic site
  • Clinical center Office of Regulatory Support can provide consultation on issues related to regulatory requirements, protocol navigation and attaining approvals
Opportunities for Fiscal Year 2019 related to the Cancer Moonshot
The National Cancer Institute has released 
Cancer Moonshot Logo
information about new funding opportunities for Fiscal Year 2019 related to the Cancer Moonshot.
They may be supported with existing funds or with the 21st Century Cures funding. Click here for a complete list of open funding opportunity announcements.
A CRO to pluck: Docs blame contract research organizations for trial troubles, but there's more to it
MedCity News - Oct 23, 2018
"I still sign and initial multiple forms multiple times each, for no appreciable reason other than for a CRO employee to 'check a box' and say it's done," said Cleveland Clinic Taussig Cancer Insititute medical director and Case CCC member  Mikkael A. Sekeres, MD, MS .

OncLive - Oct 25, 2018
In the past 5 years, there has been a major shift in the treatment of patients with chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL), said Brian T. Hill, MD, PhD, Cleveland Clinic,  Case Comprehensive Cancer Center, with an abundance of novel agents and a diminished role for chemotherapy.

3D MR fingerprinting technique shows promise in breast imaging
Health Imaging - Oct 30, 2018
A team of researchers from Cleveland has developed a three-dimensional (3D) MR fingerprinting method for breast imaging which may better evaluate breast tumors, according to a recent study co-authored by Case Comprehensive Cancer Center members  Nicole Seiberlich, PhD Mark A. Griswold, PhD   Donna Plecha, MD, and  Vikas Gulani, MD, PhD.

NIH BULLETIN - Notices and Funding Opportunities

Notice of Further Amendment of PAR-18-919 "Quantitative Imaging Tools and Methods for Cancer Response Assessment (R01 Clinical Trial Optional)"

Notice of Change in Receipt Date for the Emerging Global Leader Award (K43) (Independent Clinical Trial Not Allowed)

Request for Applications

Program Announcements

Research Project Grant (Parent R01 Clinical Trial Not Allowed)

Fri, Nov 16
Cancer Center Seminar Series 
Khalid Sossey-Alaoui, PhD
Assistant Professor, Molecular Medicine, Cleveland Clinic Lerner College of Medicine
Researcher, Molecular Cardiology Cleveland Clinic
Member, Molecular Oncology Program, Case CCC
"Regulation of the tumor microenvironment by Kindlin-2 in breast cancer"
12p WRB Auditorium
Mon, Nov 19
Genomic Medicine Institute & Quantitative Health Sciences
Aarno Palotie, MD, PhD
Professor, Research Director, Institute for Molecular Medicine Finland (FIMM), HiLIFE, University of Helsinki, Finland
Massachusetts General Hospital and Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard, Boston
"Using population isolates and nordic health care data in disease"

Cancer Center Research Chalk Talk
1p WRB 3-136

Cancer Center Junior Faculty Meeting
2p WRB 1422D

Wolstein Research Building Faculty Meetings with Stan Gerson
3:30p WRB
Tues, Nov 20
Cancer Impact Lecture
Robin Parihar, MD, PhD Assistant Professor of Pediatrics, Baylor College of Medicine
Mon, Nov 26
Cancer Center Research Chalk Talk
1p WRB 3-136
Tues, Nov 27
Cancer Imaging Monthly Meeting
1:30p WRB 1422D

Thurs, Nov 29
Developmental Therapeutics Journal Club
9a R4-013

Molecular Biology and Microbiology Seminar
1p SOM W203
Fri, Nov 30
Taussig Cancer Institute Grand Rounds
8a CA5-120

Cancer Center Seminar Series Guest Speaker
Alex G. Waterson, PhD Director, Scientific Coordinator, Vanderbilt Center for Cancer Drug Discovery Research Associate Professor, Pharmacology Research Associate Professor, Chemistry 
Vanderbilt University
"Discovery and characterization of cell active inhibitors of Lactate Dehydrogenase (LDH) using structure-based design"
12p WRB Auditorium

Deadline: Open

Deadline: Open

Deadline: Open
Case Comprehensive Cancer Center