November 7, 2017
Dr. Stan Gerson
Stan Gerson, MD
Director, Case Comprehensive Cancer Center

Lancet Oncology Special Report
Last week, Lancet Oncology released a special report,
" Future Cancer Research Priorities in the USA: A Lancet Oncology Commission . " As co-author of this report, I joined fellow cancer research experts across the nation to lay out a detailed roadmap to deliver on the Cancer Moonshot Blue Ribbon Panel recommendations. 

On a related note, the evening of November 3, 2017, I was honored to be with former Vice President Joe Biden, who received the United Nations Day Humanitarian of the Year Award from the  United Nations Association of New York for his work inspiring what is now known as the Biden Cancer Initiative. Mr. Youngsuk Chi, Chairman of Elsevier, was also honored. 

Biden UN award 2017
Biden accepting UN award in New York
About six of the co-authors of the Lancet report were in attendance along with 500 benefactors to hear Joe praise the work of the Moonshot Blue Ribbon Panel, the authors of the new report, and the work of the Biden Cancer Initiative. He spoke about the need for us  to be "unwilling to postpone" progress that can be made, and be undeterred by a short circuit of barriers, and institutional and national regulatory barriers to translating cancer discovery towards patient benefit.

Building upon progress set in motion by the Cancer Moonshot Blue Ribbon Panel, the new Lancet report seeks to prioritize recommendations based on biggest potential impact. I would like to call your attention to several items. 

First, the report is an extensive blueprint covering all aspects of cancer research across the spectrum of prevention, lifestyle risk reduction, early detection, vaccinations, basic pathways of cancer discovery, multimodality treatment for early and late stage disease, and long-term survivorship. It is augmented by a call for better access to clinical trials, improved data sharing, accelerating new therapeutic development and FDA approval, and improved care and survivorship.

Second, our cancer center is fully invested in these initiatives and is right in the mix.  As you will see, you can find your place in the scope and in the recommendations - and you will notice that many of the items covered reflect our own strategic plan and our priorities.

Third, you will notice that we too experience some of the problems: lack of universal consent; lack of comprehensive tissue storage and access; delays in drug development; insufficient resources to pursue high impact science; and inefficient approaches to clinical trials.

Fourth, please have a look at Panel 22 ( Research priorities-a call for action) and Part 16 ( Summary and call for action).  I was asked to review all of the priorities noted throughout the blueprint to highlight the essential top line priorities and to develop metrics and measures of success statements for each. Our center can play a role in each.

I look forward to all of our involvement in this effort. It represents the maturation of the initial Blue Ribbon Panel and reflects the collective wisdom of many leaders in the field. It will also be the focus of developing additional philanthropic resources, collaborative efforts with governmental efforts and with developing technologies within the biotech and bioinformatics corporate space, and likely help orient disease advocacy groups.

We all need to be aware of these trends so our research proposals can take advantage of these areas of interest.

Desai Receives Pathway to Independence Award for BMT Research
Amar Desai
Amar Desai
Amar Desai, PhD has received a K99/R00 award for this project, "Towards Improving Bone Marrow Transplantation via Inhibition of 15-PGDH." Desai is a  Senior Research Associate in the Case Comprehensive Cancer Center, and is  mentored by Drs. Stan Gerson and Sanford Markowitz. 
Emina Huang Awarded Grant to Better Understand Colorectal Cancer 
Emina Huang
Emina Huang
Emina Huang, MD, has been awarded a collaborative five-year, $2.6 million grant from the National Cancer Institute to create innovative models of colorectal cancer that will enhance understanding of how the disease develops and spreads. Huang is a member of the Case Comprehensive Cancer Center, a colorectal surgeon in the Digestive Disease and Surgery Institute, and a staff member in the Lerner Research Institute's Department of Stem Cell Biology and Regenerative Medicine. 

The grant is a collaboration between Cleveland Clinic, Duke University and Cornell University. According to a release from the Cleveland Clinic, this grant is the newest project funded by NCI's Cancer Tissue Engineering Collaborative (TEC) Research Program, which supports the development and characterization of state-of-the-art tissue engineered technologies for cancer research. There are only four other TEC-funded research institutions nationwide. 
Youth Enjoy Science (YES) Grant Brings Diversity to Cancer Research
The Case Comprehensive Cancer Center and CWRU School of Medicine were  awarded a five-year grant, totaling $2.5 million to engage underrepresented minorities in Cleveland-area schools in cancer research.

The Youth Enjoy Science (YES) Program, supported by the National Cancer Institute, is the first and only program at Case Western Reserve School of Medicine to provide a comprehensive and integrated approach to cancer research training, spanning middle school, through high school, and extending to college undergraduates.

Nathan Berger
Nathan Berger
"There is currently a deficit in minorities engaged in scientific research," said Nathan A. Berger, MD, Case Comprehensive Cancer Center, principal investigator and director of the Center for Science, Health and Society at Case Western Reserve School of Medicine. "Through the YES program, we aim to interest students in cancer research careers and to give them a sense of self confidence to speak scientifically to their colleagues. The number of outstanding research labs we have here at the Case Comprehensive Cancer Center truly makes the program possible." 

The YES program has a variety of goals including engaging underrepresented minorities in Cleveland to participate in exciting cancer education and research immersion opportunities in partnership with Case Comprehensive Cancer Center faculty. The program also develops an educational curriculum to cultivate interest in cancer research, risk reduction, disparity elimination and long term pursuit of careers in cancer research.

Co-investigators on the program include Monica Webb Hooper, PhD; Goutham Narla, MD, PhD; and Mark W. Jackson, PhD. Collaborators on the program include Cynthia Owusu, MD, ChB, MS; Folashade Otegbye, MB, ChB, MPH; Natalie Joseph, MD; and Damian J. Junk, PhD.
Pediatric Oncology Expert Alex Huang Briefs Senate on Pediatric Immunotherapy
Pediatric Immunotherapy Briefing - A Huang
Alex Huang partipates in Senate Briefing on Capitol Hill
On October 25, 2017, Alex Huang, MD, PhD, co-Leader of the Hematopoietic and Immune Cancer Biology Program at the Case Comprehensive Cancer Center, was an  invited panelist for a Senate Briefing on Advances in Pediatric Immunotherapy, sponsored by St. Baldrick's Foundation and Senators Marco Rubio (R-FL) and Michael Bennet (D-CO).

Huang, a pediatric oncologist and researcher from UH Rainbow Babies & Children's Hospital and CWRU School of Medicine, was one of 4 physician-scientists on the scientific panel who briefed the Senators and Congressional staff on recent development in Pediatric Immunotherapy. Other panel members included patients and their families, experts from Children's Hospital of Philadelphia, Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, National Cancer Institute, and leaders from Juno Therapeutics and Novartis Pharmaceuticals. 
Helio/HemOnc Today - Nov 3, 2017
An analysis of patients with metastatic renal cell carcinoma treated during the targeted therapy era showed those with private insurance survived significantly longer than those with no insurance or government insurance, according to study results presented at International Kidney Cancer Symposium.
"This survival disparity was more significant [among] patients aged younger than 65 years, suggesting insurance status determined access to metastatic renal cell carcinoma treatment," Yu-Wei Chen, MD, MS, of Cleveland Clinic Taussig Cancer Institute, and colleagues wrote. "The difference was mitigated by Medicare [among] patients aged 65 years or older."
Crain's Cleveland Business - Nov 2, 2017
A Case Western Reserve University professor has received nearly $3 million from the National Institutes of Health to study a way to help the body better fight cancer.  Nicole Steinmetz, the George J. Picha Designated Professor in Biomaterials, received the funding from the National Cancer Institute, according to a post on the university's  The Daily site . Steinmetz will work on the project with Steve Fiering, professor of microbiology and immunology at Geisel School of Medicine at Dartmouth College, as well as other researchers at the Case Comprehensive Cancer Center and Geisel.  Steinmetz received two, other large grants from the National Institutes of Health  earlier this year
PR News Wire - Nov 1, 2017
The CVS Health Foundation today announced it has awarded  $1 million dollars in grants to eight Association of American Cancer Institutes (AACI) member cancer centers to build new smoking cessation programs or expand existing ones across the country, enabling each cancer institute to reach more at-risk patient populations.  Research from a 2014 American Cancer Society report demonstrates the seriousness of tobacco cravings among cancer patients and the need for better long-term cessation support. The study finds even nine years after being diagnosed with cancer, nearly 10 percent of survivors still smoke cigarettes - and more than 80 percent smoke daily...The eight cancer centers, which received funding between $100,000 and $130,000 each, include: Case Comprehensive Cancer Center (Cleveland)..."I got diagnosed in August with cancer and was referred to Dr. Hooper who told me that if I quit smoking the chances of the cancer not coming back would be better, but if I continued to smoke there was a greater chance of the cancer returning, which I had no idea about," said Cynthia Anderson, a Cleveland-area patient of Monica Webb Hooper, PhD, Director of the Office of Cancer Disparities Research at the Case Comprehensive Cancer Center and professor of oncology, psychological sciences, family medicine and community health at Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine. "So, that's how I got started [in the program] and I actually got my husband on board as well. I do feel better, and I'm grateful that CVS Health is willing to give [smoking cessation] patches and gum to help us in our quest to stop smoking."
Limited Submission: NSF: Major Research Instrumentation Program (MRI)
Internal Deadline: Nov 14, 2017; External Deadline: Jan 10, 2018
The Major Research Instrumentation Program (MRI) serves to increase access to shared scientific and engineering instruments for research and research training in our Nation's institutions of higher education, and not-for-profit museums, science centers and scientific/engineering research organizations. This program especially seeks to improve the quality and expand the scope of research and research training in science and engineering, by supporting proposals for shared instrumentation that fosters the integration of research and education in research-intensive learning environments. Each MRI proposal may request support for the acquisition (Track 1) or development (Track 2) of a single research instrument for shared inter- and/or intra-organizational use; development efforts that leverage the strengths of private sector partners to build instrument development capacity at MRI submission-eligible organizations are encouraged.

To accomplish the program's goals, the MRI program assists with the acquisition or development of a shared research instrument that is, in general, too costly and/or not appropriate for support through other NSF programs. The instrument is expected to be operational for regular research use by the end of the award period. For the purposes of the MRI program, a proposal must be for either acquisition (Track 1) or development (Track 2) of a single instrument or for equipment that, when combined, serves as an integrated research instrument (in contrast to requests for multiple instruments that enable research in a common or focused research domain, which MRI does not support). The MRI program does not support the acquisition or development of a suite of instruments to outfit research laboratories/facilities or that will be used to conduct independent research activities simultaneously. 
Deadline: Nov 10, 2017
The Case GI SPORE has released the following requests for project proposals: 

DRP proposals will be considered for any GI malignancy, priority consideration will be given to proposals focused on non-colorectal GI malignancies. In addition, we plan to award at least 1 DRP per cycle to a non colorectal focused proposal. Developmental Research Projects in the area of Pancreatic Cancer are encouraged.   

All proposals must be directed towards translational research of a GI malignancy, with at least one specific aim that involves direct study of patients or human materials.  
NIH BULLETIN- Notices and Funding Opportunities
Call for Applications/Program Announcements

Mechanisms of Disparities for HIV- Related Co-morbidities in Health Disparity Populations (R01-Clinical Trial Not Allowed)(RFA-MD-18-002)
Deadline: Feb 21, 2018

Program Announcements
The Health of Sexual and Gender Minority (SGM) Populations (R01 Clinical Trial Optional)(PA-18-037)
Deadline: Standard dates apply

The Health of Sexual and Gender Minority (SGM) Populations (R21 Clinical Trial Optional)(PA-18-040)
Deadline: Standard dates apply

The Health of Sexual and Gender Minority (SGM) Populations (R03 Clinical Trial Optional) (PA-18-054)
Deadline: Standard dates apply

End-of-Life and Palliative Needs of Adolescents and Young Adults (AYA) with Serious Illnesses (R01 Clinical Trial Optional)(PA-18-137)
Deadline: Standard dates apply

End-of-Life and Palliative Needs of Adolescents and Young Adults (AYA) with Serious Illnesses (R21 Clinical Trial Optional)(PA-18-155)
Deadline: Standard dates apply

The Health of Sexual and Gender Minority (SGM) Populations (R15 Clinical Trial Optional)(PA-18-210)
Deadline: Standard dates apply

Early Phase Clinical Trials in Imaging and Image-Guided Interventions (R01 Clinical Trial Required)(PAR-18-011)
Deadline: Feb 14, 2018, Jun 28, 2018; Oct 11, 2018; Feb 14, 2019; Jun 28, 2019; Oct 11, 2019; Feb14, 2020
Wed, Nov 8
Breast Cancer Update: From Screening Through Treatment to Survivorship
8a-3:15p Embassy Suites, Independence

Immunology Students/Fellows Research In Progress Series
Shinji Okano, MD, PhD
Research Fellow, General Surgery
12p NC1-202

PRCHN Seminar: Infant Mortality
Bernadette Kerrigan, Executive Director, First Year Cleveland, CWRU; Christin Farmer, Executive Director, Birthing Beautiful Communities; Angela Neal-Barnett, PhD,  Professor, Director PRADAA (Program for Research on Anxiety Disorders among African Americans), Kent State University
"Innovative, Holistic Solutions in Solving a 45 year+ Community Problem, Infant Mortality: First Year Cleveland and Community Partners Doing Business Differently"
12p PRCHN Ground Floor Conference Room
Thurs, Nov 9
Developmental Therapeutics Journal Club
9a R4-013

Guest Seminar Series
Jerry Pelletier, PhD
Professor, Biochemistry,McGill University
"Targeting eIF4F-dependencies in disease"
12p Wood W428

Power of Diversity Lecture Series
Monica Webb Hooper, PhD
Director, Office of Cancer Disparities Research, Case Comprehensive Cancer Center; Professor, Oncology, Psychological Sciences, Family Medicine & Community Health, CWRU
"We are Not Low Hanging Fruit: Meaningful Science to Address Racial Disparities in Tobacco Cessation"
3p Toepfer Room, Second Floor Adelbert Hall
Fri, Nov 10
HemOnc Grand Rounds
Josh Bilenker, MD
CEO, Loxo Oncology, Inc.
"Drug Development TRK Inhibitor"
8a Wearn 137

TCI Grand Rounds

Sagar Patel, MD
Cleveland Clinic
"The challenges of non-relapse mortality in allogeneic hematopoietic CCF cell transplantation"
8a CA5-120

Cellular and Molecular Medicine 
Navdeep S. Chandel, PhD 
Professor, Medicine and Cell Biology, Northwestern University
"Mitochondria as signaling organelles"
10a NC1-202

Cancer Center Seminar Series
Alexandru Almasan, PhD
Co-Leader, Molecular Oncology Program, Case Comprehensive Cancer Center
Professor, Cancer Biology, Radiation Oncology, CWRU/Cleveland Clinic
"Exploiting vulnerabilities in the DNA damage repair of prostate cancer cells"
12p WRB 1-413
Mon, Nov 13
Genomic Medicine Institute
Danxin Wang, PhD
Department of Cancer Biology and Genetics, Center for Pharmacogenomics, The Ohio State University
"Discovery of genetic biomarkers for personalized drug therapy"
12p NE1-205
Tues, Nov 14
THOR Seminar
Christopher McFarland, PhD
Postdoctoral Fellow, Cancer Systems Biology
"The in vivo fitness landscape of tumor suppression in lung adenocarcinoma"
1p NE1-205

Cancer Center Research in Progress Seminar

3p WRB 3-136
Thurs, Nov 16
Developmental Therapeutics Journal Club
9a R4-013

Cancer Biology and Pediatric Hematology Oncology Seminar
Seth Corey, MD, MPH
Chief, Pediatric Hematology, Oncology & Stem Cell Transplantation
Children's Hospital of Richmond
"Pediatric Bone Marrow Failure Syndromes as
Experiments of Nature for Adult MDS/AML"
10:30am NE1-205

Cancer Center Trainee Seminar Series
12p WRB 3-136
Fri, Nov 17
HemOnc Grand Rounds
Ajay Dhakal, MD
Fellow, Roswell Park Cancer Institute
"Advancing Endocrine Therapy in Metastatic Breast Cancer"
8a Wearn 137

TCI Grand Rounds

Haris Zahoor, MD
Cleveland Clinic
"Systemic Treatment of RCC: The Cross Roads of HIF, VEGF, and PD-1 Pathways"
8a CA5-120


Case Comprehensive Cancer Center 
11100 Euclid Avenue, Wearn152
Cleveland, OH 44106-5065