newsletter masthead
October 25, 2018
Stan Gerson, MD
Dr. Stan Gerson
Director, Case Comprehensive Cancer Center

10-Year Outlook for Cancer Centers
At the October 1-2 Association of American Cancer Institutes (AACI) meeting in Chicago, there were a number of interesting sessions covering global cancer research and care, physician burnout (high in oncology), use of big data in cancer care and research, and the explosion in breast cancer genomics.
My favorite session (which I chaired) was on the 10-year outlook for cancer centers. I asked Candace Johnson, director of Roswell Park Cancer Institute, Steve Rosen, Director of City of Hope, and Mike Kastan, Director of the Duke Cancer Institute, to provide their wisdom after a collective 62+ years overseeing cancer center operations.  They offered different perspectives on the topic with little overlap. You will notice that no one took on the challenge of identifying where the next new discovery will be and its impact in 10 years - that is just too hard!
Below is a summary of their comments and some possible solutions. I would be delighted to hear your thoughts about the prospects for each and what is missing from the inventory. 

New technologies and their impact:
  • "Liquid biopsies" for screening, early detection, and monitoring responses- is technology ahead of biology? Can this be the approach to detection that improves outcomes? 
  • Efficiently developing effective combinations of therapies- as so many new therapeutics are being developed; how can we most effectively and efficiently test all of the possible combinations, especially combinations including immunotherapies and targeted therapies?
  • Accurately assessing an individual's risk for cancer development- cancer susceptibility genes, modifying genes, family cancer genes, polygenic influences, environmental influences, etc.
Organization of cancer care and networks:
  • Consolidate care coordination across networks - provide more uniform care across broad geographic regions including delivery of novel therapy, cell therapy, and the use of video medicine and bodily sensors for patient treatment and management.
  • Develop robust, patient-centric cancer care teams - consisting of a patient navigator, multi-disciplinary MD team, nurse coordinator, advanced practice nurse, and survivorship coordinator.
  • Organize a data care team to manage the burgeoning use and access to patient data including EMR, patient-reported outcomes, treatment, decision-making tools, genomics, risk assessment and follow-up instructions over time.
  • Allow broad access to novel therapeutics with extended access to clinical trials and use of real world data with early release of new agents.
Risks to cancer centers:
  • Disappearance of the physician scientist-value - promote and incentivize the clinical investigator. 
  • Diminishing reimbursement for services- promote legislation to not tier out a cancer center, implement cancer care pathways to standardize quality of care, be proactive in demonstrating value for academic versus community cancer care.
  • Shrinking federal/foundation/private grant dollars - team approach with more collaboration with other investigators and centers, develop mentoring programs to help young investigators, continuing lobbying efforts. 
  • Technology and communication issues, not integrated - consolidated EMR within communities, greater ability for data transfer and integration between laboratory and clinic.
We will look back and see how short-sighted we are in these projections but will enjoy the ride to get there.
NHLBI grant to fund research toward prevention of cancer-related venous thromboembolism
A five-year grant from the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute of $4.7 million is funding research by two Case Comprehensive Cancer Center members. "About 20% of [patients with cancer] develop blood clots, which can cause stroke, hospitalization and delays in treatment. In fact, cancer-associated thrombosis is the second leading cause of death [among] patients with cancer," said Alok A. Khorana, MD. The research aims to develop a better risk-prediction tool for cancer-associated venous thromboembolism (VTE). Such a tool would assist in identifying patients who will develop blood clots so they can be treated proactively with blood thinners ideally preventing complications.

Keith McCrae Khorana recently spoke with HemOnc Today about the impact of cancer-associated VTE and how the research led by himself and  Keith R. McCrae, MD will help clinicians and researchers better determine which patients are at risk.  more>
Cancer Center Seminar Series Guest Speaker: "p53 and Roundup: Genetic and environmental risk for cancer"
Oct 26, 12p | WRB Auditorium

Join us Friday, October 26 at 12p in the WRB Auditorium to hear Yong Li, PhD present " p53 and Roundup: Genetic and environmental risk for cancer." Dr. Li is Professor of Molecular Medicine, Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine; and Member, Case Comprehensive Cancer Center. This seminar is p resented by the Molecular Oncology Program of the Case Comprehensive Cancer Center.

Dr. Li's research aims to elucidate the role of genetic mutations, microRNAs, and environmental nutrients and
xenobiotics in cancer and define the precise molecular and cellular events intersecting with environmental
risk factors that are responsible for cancer initiation, progression, and susceptibility and/or affect clinical
outcome. The translational objective of his research is to develop novel targeted and immunological therapies
and prevention strategies against lymphoma, multiple myeloma, and solid tumors.
Surgical Oncology Guest Lecture: "Developing t-helper type 1-directed immune interventions in molecular high risk GI malignancy"
Oct 26, 11:30a | WRB 2-136
Jashodeep Datta Mark your calendar for the Surgical Oncology Guest Lecture. Guest speaker,  Dr. Jashodeep Datta , Clinical Fellow, Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, will present "Developing t-helper type 1-directed immune interventions in molecular high risk GI malignancy." 
HM Hanna Lecture: "mTOR signaling in growth and metabolism"
Oct 29, 4p | WRB Auditorium
Michael Hall Mark your calendar for the HM Hanna Lecture. Guest speaker, Dr.  Michael N. Hall, Professor at the Biozentrum University of Basel, Switzerland, will present "mTOR signaling in growth and metabolism. "  Dr. Hall is the recipient of the Lasker Basic Medical Research Award 2017 - one of the most distinguished honors in biomedical research. 
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. 

2019 Symposium Highlights
  • Keynote presentations by renowned disparities researchers and community leaders
    • Opening Keynote by Eliseo J. Pérez-Stable, MD, Director of the National Institute on Minority Health and Health Disparities (NIMHD), National Institutes of Health (NIH)
    • Scientific Keynote presentation by Rick Kittles, PhDAssociate Director of Health Equities, Comprehensive Cancer Center; Professor and Director, Division of Health Equities, Department of Population Sciences, City of Hope
  • Oral and Lightning presentations from selected abstracts
  • Poster session highlighting academic research and community programs
  • Networking session
  • All attendee forum
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.


Registration is now OPEN for this symposium.  
Click here for registration information.
Core Utilization Pilot Grants
Rotating Deadline: First of Each Month
CWRU SOM logo - png
The Clinical and Translational Science Collaborative (CTSC) of Case Western Reserve University  Core Utilization Pilot Award Program  supports investigator use of eligible Core facilities at our partner institutions. This program is designed to collect preliminary data that will lead to extramural sponsored grant funding and/or publications in peer-reviewed journals. Awards up to $10,000 are available. This program is intended to promote the use of technologies and expertise afforded by identified Core Facilities available at all partner institutions.
Medical Student Rotation for Underrepresented Populations
Application Deadline: Dec 10, 2018
The Conquer Cancer Foundation  has opened applications for t he Medical Student Rotation award. The award provides financial support for  U.S. medical students from populations underrepresented in medicine and who are interested in oncology as a career to experience a minimum 4-week clinical or clinical research rotation.

The Medical Student Rotation award includes a $5,000 stipend for the rotation plus $1,500 for travel to the ASCO Annual Meeting. An additional $2,000 will be provided to support the student's mentor. The number of Medical Student Rotation Awards in each funding cycle is not predetermined by Conquer Cancer. Awards are given based on individual merit and availability of funds. 

  • Be enrolled in a DO or MD program at a U.S. medical school.
  • Be a U.S. citizen, U.S. national, or permanent resident.
  • Be an ASCO member. Students may be able to obtain a FREE ASCO membership.
  • Have a record of good academic standing; and
  • Be of an underrepresented population in medicine as defined by the Association of American Medical Colleges.
Damon Runyon Physician-Scientist Training Award
Application Deadline: Dec 3, 2018
The Damon Runyon Cancer Research Foundation is establishing a pilot program designed to recruit outstanding U.S. Specialty Board eligible physicians into cancer research careers by providing them with the opportunity for a protected research training experience under the mentorship of a highly qualified and gifted mentor after they have completed all of their clinical training.

The award will enable individuals to pursue research intensively for up to four years and also includes a debt repayment program.

  • Completed residency and clinical training (MDs only, MD/PhDs are not eligible to apply).
  • U.S. Specialty Board eligible prior to the award start date
  • Able to devote at least 80% of their time and effort to Damon Runyon-supported research.
  • No more than three years of postdoctoral laboratory research experience.
  • Additional requirements and limitations as noted in the program's eligibility guidelines and award terms apply.
2019 Call for Grant Proposals: The American Society of Breast Surgeons Foundation
Deadline: Dec 14, 2018

The American Society of Breast Surgeons Foundation awards grants related to patient breast care and medical education. The foundation is a charitable organization dedicated to improving the standard of care for breast disease patients by providing support for medical and patient education, advancing breast disease research and diagnosis and treatment technologies, and offering programs and services to medical professionals and their patients.
Nominations Open for OCN® of the Year Award
Deadline: Dec 1, 2018

The Oncology Nursing Certification Corporation has opened applications for the award which recognizes an OCN® who has made significant contributions to oncology nursing and oncology nursing service; and who has supported and promoted oncology nursing certification. The OCN® of the Year will receive $1,000 and be presented with a crystal award at the Recognition Breakfast for Oncology Certified Nurses at the ONS Annual Congress.
Scientists predict how well the body will fight lung cancer by analyzing immune cell shapes
News-Medical - Sep 20, 2018
Aided by smart-imaging computers and machine-learning methods, researchers analyzed tissue images to count cancer-associated immune cells and identify patterns in their arrangement.  "We believe we've made a critical advance to the field with this work," said  Anant Madabhushi, MS, PhD, the lead among a dozen authors on a recent paper in the  journal Clinical Cancer Research.

WKYC - Oct 18, 2018
Cleveland Clinic breast cancer researcher and 2010 Sones Innovation Award recipient Vincent K. Tuohy, PhD has been working on a breast cancer vaccine for over a decade.  Cleveland Clinic will open a phase one study in mid-2019 of a preventative breast cancer vaccine for women with triple negative breast cancer. Similar trials are underway at Mayo Clinic Jacksonville. 
NIH BULLETIN- Notices and Funding Opportunities
Presolicitation Notice: Request for Proposals (RFP) N01CN87006-18 "PREVENT Cancer Preclinical Drug Development Program: cGMP Production of Vaccines and Biologicals for Cancer Prevention"

Notice of Intent to Publish a Funding Opportunity Announcement for Physical Sciences-Oncology Network (PS-ON): Physical Sciences-Oncology Projects (PS-OP) (U01 Clinical Trial Optional)

Notice for a Pre-application Webinar for Biospecimen Funding Opportunity Announcement PAR-18-947 (U01)

Program Announcements
Commercializing Understudied Proteins from the Illuminating the Druggable Genome Project (IDG) (R41/R42 Clinical Trial Not Allowed)

Fri, Oct 26
Taussig Cancer Institute Grand Rounds
8a CA5-120

Department of Cellular and Molecular Medicine
Hanrui Zhang, PhD
Assistant Professor, Columbia University
"Linking human macrophage biology to cardiometabolic diseases: functional genomics integrating iPS cells and CRISPR technologies"
10a NC1-202

Surgical Oncology Guest Lecture
Jashodeep Datta, MD
Clinical Fellow, Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center
"Developing t-helper type 1-directed immune interventions in molecular high risk GI malignancy"
11:30a WRB 2-136

Cancer Center Seminar Series 
Yong Li, PhD
Professor, Molecular Medicine; Staff, Cancer Biology, CWRU/Cleveland Clinic
"p53 and Roundup: Genetic and environmental risk for cancer"
12p WRB 1-413
Mon, Oct 29
Cancer Center Research Chalk Talk
1p WRB 3-136

HM Hanna Lecture
Michael N. Hall, PhD Professor, Biozentrum University of Basel, Switzerland;
Albert Lasker Basic Medical Research Award Recipient 2017  
"mTOR signaling in growth and metabolism"
4p WRB 1413
Tues, Oct 30
Cancer Center Research In Progress Seminar
3p WRB 3-136
Thurs, Nov 1
Developmental Therapeutics Journal Club
9a R4-013

Molecular Biology and Microbiology Seminar
1p SOM W203
Fri, Nov 2
Taussig Cancer Institute Grand Rounds
8a CA5-120

Cancer Center Seminar Series
Eckhard Jankowsky, PhD
Professor and Associate Director, Center for RNA Science and Therapeutics
"The landscape of protein synthesis in glioblastoma stem cells"
12p WRB Auditorium


Deadline: Open

Deadline: Open

Deadline: Open
Case Comprehensive Cancer Center