October 16, 2020
Director's Message
Inquiry: Significant Advances in Cancer Research since 1971
Stan Gerson, MD
Director, Case Comprehensive Cancer Center
Try this out for your daily mind teaser: what do you consider to be the three-to-five most significant advances in cancer research since 1971?

This is the question asked of me and the nation's other NCI-designated cancer center Directors by Dr. Skip Trump, former Director of Roswell Park Cancer Institute and Inova Schar Cancer Institute, who is developing a history of the 50 year-mark of the National Cancer Institute.

My responses follow, but before you read on, think of yours.
  • Tumor viruses are important in human cancers (the 2020 Nobel Prize: HepC; and others)
  • Sequencing the human genome diagnoses individual and familial cancers and leads to directed therapies, risk reduction and rationalized screening
  • Cancer therapy can be based on pinpoint targeting of specific pathway proteins (and RNA and DNA) and combinations of such approaches yields long lasting responses by avoiding resistance
  • Our immune system and immune cells provide crucial protection from cancer and can be re-engineered to block cancer, destroy cancer and provide cancer immunity

I would love to see your list. Send it along.
From the National Cancer Institute
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NCI and CRUK announce Cancer Grand Challenge Questions
The National Cancer Institute (NCI) and Cancer Research UK (CRUK), the world’s leading funders of cancer research, are partnering to fund the Cancer Grand Challenges program. Cancer Grand Challenges will fund novel ideas by multidisciplinary research teams from around the world that offer the potential to advance bold cancer research and improve outcomes for people affected by cancer.

Through this partnership, NCI and CRUK expect to fund up to four awards for each round of Cancer Grand Challenges, with each multidisciplinary team being awarded approximately $25 million over five years. Nine challenges were developed through a series of international workshops and an open call for ideas from the cancer research community and people affected by cancer. Of these, the most compelling ideas were evaluated by experts in cancer research and provided their recommendations to CRUK. As funding partners, NCI and CRUK made the final decisions on Cancer Grand Challenges.

These nine challenges are aimed at solving complex problems in cancer research, which, if solved, could
have a transformative impact towards progress. The challenges now available encourage researchers to advance research in areas such as inflammation, extrachromosomal DNA, solid tumors in children, and more.
Member/Center Highlights
CWRU Researchers receive award to investigate immune response to COVID-19 from NCI's Serological Sciences Network
Last week, the National Cancer Institute (NCI) announced 25 grant and contract awardees who will participate in the launch of the Serological Sciences Network for COVID-19, dubbed SeroNet. SeroNet is an initiative to quickly increase the nation's antibody testing capacity and courage research into understanding the COVID-19 immune response.

Timothy Chan, MD, PhD and co-PI David Zidar, MD, PhD were awarded one of 13 U01 grants to conduct their research project, "Pre-exposure Immunologic Health and Linkages to SARS-CoV-2 Serologic Responses, Endothelial Cell Resilience, and Cardiovascular Complications: Defining the mechanistic basis of high-risk endotypes."
Dr. Chan is Director of the Center for Immunotherapy and Precision Immuno-Oncology at Cleveland Clinic, Co-Director of the National Center for Regenerative Medicine, and member of the Case Comprehensive Cancer Center's Hematopoietic and Immune Cancer Biology Program. Dr. Zidar is an interventional cardiologist at University Hospitals and assistant professor at Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine.

Chan and Zidar will bring together cardiologists, oncologists and researchers from Cleveland Clinic, University Hospitals, and Case Western Reserve on the project to test how pre-existing immune dysregulation and/or cardiovascular disease could impair immune pathways required for an effective response to SARS-CoV-2 infection.

Their project is one of two SeroNet projects awarded to Case Western Reserve. Christopher King, MD, PhD, professor of pathology and member of the Center for Global Health Diseases at the CWRU School of Medicine, is leading the other project, "Early Drivers of Humoral Immunity to SARS-CoV-2 Infections."
Mulvihill retires from Radiation Resources Facility after 30+ years
John Mulvihill, MS, longtime technical manager of the Radiation Resources Facility, announced his retirement last month. John is a skilled physicist who managed the facility for over 30 years, during which time he demonstrated complete dedication to making it work for all users. Past facility directors praised John for this ability to navigate the complicated systems and requirements related to the facility's activities and ensure user research was conducted in a safe environment. All irradiator users greatly appreciated John's expert input and especially benefited from John's generous willingness to make himself available to researchers whenever needed to facilitate their research efforts. John was a special resource because he cheerfully was there to help anyone with their work under all circumstances. His willingness to be available nights and weekends to accommodate demanding experimental protocols was a unique and much appreciated contribution. Former Radiation Resources director Nancy Oleinick, PhD, summarized it best, "The University and the Cancer Center were fortunate to have hired and retained John. I wish him well in his retirement."
2nd Annual Artificial Intelligence in Oncology Symposium welcomes variety of international experts beginning Monday, October 19
The 2nd Annual Artificial Intelligence in Oncology Symposium: Advancing Science and Policy is kicking off virtually this Monday, October 19! Attendees will hear from 15 speakers and panelists on how AI and machine learning are being used as diagnostic and prognostic tools in pathology and radiology, their role in drug discovery, and the ethics and policy surrounding this ever-evolving field.

Highlights of day one of the conference include a focused-session in pathology with a keynote from Yinyin Yuan, PhD of the Institute of Cancer Research, London, a plenary address from Geraldine McGinty, MD, MBA, FACR entitled, "Fostering a Strong Ecosystem for AI in Medical Imaging" and a radiology-focused session keynote from Google's Aashima Gupta, MS.

The second day of the symposium features a session on drug discovery with a keynote from Stanford's Russ Altman, MD, PhD, Outstanding Abstract Awardee Presentations, and an ethics and policy session with a keynote from UCSF's Vinay Prasad, MD, MPH.
NEW! This year, attendees are invited to participate in "Ask The Experts" meet-ups, designed to enable greater networking and provide an opportunity for participants to ask questions and trainees to make connections on their career paths with the leading experts in the field. Immediately following day 2 of the symposium, AIO 2020 Planning committee members will host these virtual meet-ups in Radiology (Mehdi Alilou and Satish Viswanath) and Digital Pathology (Andrew Janowczyk and Anant Madabhushi).

Registration will remain open throughout the event, with recordings posted for attendees with schedule conflicts within 24 hours. A special student registration rate is available.

The Case Comprehensive Cancer Center and Center for Computational Imaging and Personalized Diagnostics would like to thank the following #AIO2020 sponsors and exhibitors for their generous support of the event: Aiforia, Bristol Myers Squibb, Jay and Harita Patel, Larvol, Pfizer, Boehringer Ingelheim, Genentech and Tempus.
Case CCC COVID-19 Resource Hub
The Case Comprehensive Cancer Center (Case CCC) has centralized COVID-19 related news, resources and funding opportunities for our cancer center community. Content is updated regularly.

To have a cancer-focused resource added to the page, please email cancer@case.edu.
What's Coming Up
Mark Your Calendar
Cancer Center Seminar Series presents: The Olof Pearson Lecture
Friday, October 16, 2020, 12p via Zoom
Our seminar today features Myles Brown, MD, presenting the Olof Pearson Lecture in hormone-responsive malignancies at 12 pm ET via Zoom.

Dr. Brown is Director of the Center for Functional Cancer Epigenetics at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute and the Eiml Frei III Professor of Medicine at Harvard Medical School. He will present, "Feedback Loops Limiting Effective Breast Cancer Therapy" next week.

Dr. Brown’s research laboratory focuses on elucidating the epigenetic factors underlying the action of steroid hormones. This work has important implications both for normal physiology and for the treatment of hormone dependent malignancies including breast and prostate cancer. He is recognized for three seminal discoveries. His lab opened the steroid receptor coregulator field, illuminated the dynamic nature of receptor and coregulator interaction with the genome and elucidated the importance of epigenetically determined distant cis-regulatory steroid receptor binding sites. His contributions have uniquely reformulated the understanding of steroid hormone action in normal physiology and in hormone-dependent cancer.

Next Week: Artificial Intelligence in Oncology Virtual Symposium 2020
October 19-20, 2020

The second annual Artificial Intelligence in Oncology Symposium, beginning Monday, October 19, is bringing together experts in AI and machine learning as well as clinical, industry and federal agency experts in pathology, radiology, drug discovery, and ethics and policy to speak on research developments, regulatory policy, reimbursement and ethics surrounding AI in oncology.

Join us for four focused sessions, with international speakers and panel discussions providing unique perspectives on how AI and machine learning are impacting 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, meet the experts and enjoy a special session highlighting some of the brightest rising stars in the field of AI in oncology, selected from abstract submissions.

Geraldine McGinty, MD, MBA, FACR will present the symposium plenary, "Fostering a Strong Ecosystem for AI in Medical Imaging." Dr. McGinty is an internationally recognized expert in imaging economics, Chair of the American College of Radiology Board of Chancellors and Chief Strategy and Contracting Officer at Weill Cornell Medicine in New York City.

Additional keynotes in drug discovery, ethics & policy and pathology will be delivered by Russ Altman, MD, PhD of Stanford University, Aashima Gupta, MS of Google, Vinay Prasad, MD, MPH of the University of California, San Francisco, and Yinyin Yuan, PhD of the Institute of Cancer Research, London. Learn more about AIO 2020 speakers.
Cancer Center Seminar Series
Friday, October 23, 2020, 12p via Zoom
Next week's Cancer Center Seminar welcomes Xiongbin Lu, PhD presenting, "Targeted Immunotherapy for HER2-low Breast Cancer with 17p Loss" on behalf of the GI Cancer Genetics Program.

Dr. Lu is Professor of Medical and Molecular Genetics and the the Vera Bradley Foundation Professor of Breast Cancer Innovation at the Indiana University Melvin and Bren Simon Cancer Center.

His research laboratory has built up a number of technology platforms for their current research, which includes genetic mouse models, state-of-art molecular and cell biology methodology, biocomputational tools for human cancer omics analyses, and strong collaborations with peers and colleagues within and outside his institution. He successfully administered the projects (e.g. staffing, research protections, budget), collaborated with other researchers, produced high-impact research publications, and developed translational approaches and drug candidates for cancer therapy. His recent work developed a novel therapeutic approach to target human cancers harboring heterozygous loss of chromosome 17p (containing p53) (Nature 2015, Nature Comm 2018, Nature Nanotech 2019).
Case Western Reserve University Case Comprehensive Cancer Center Logo in dark CWRU blue
Case CCC Fall Clinical Research Retreat
October 28, 2020, 5-7p via Zoom
The Case Comprehensive Cancer Center's Fall Clinical Research Retreat will be held virtually on October 28, 2020 from 5-7 pm.

The retreat theme is, "Immunotherapy in Cancer Research." The retreat will include a presentation by Leland Metheny, MD, Chair of the Case CCC Protocol Review and Monitoring Committee (PRMC) and a keynote presentation from Timothy Chan, MD, PhD, Director of Immunotherapy and Precision Immuno-Oncology at Cleveland Clinic.

Registration is required.
Multidisciplinary Colorectal Oncology Course
November 6, 2020, 9a-12:30p
This symposium will focus on providing an in-depth and up-to-date review of the multidisciplinary management of colorectal cancers.

Oncologists, surgeons, radiation oncologists and nurses with an interest in the management of patients with colorectal cancer should participate in this course.

The Cleveland Clinic Foundation Center for Continuing Education designates this live activity for a maximum of 3.5 AMA PRA Category 1 Credits™.
Biomedical Graduate Student Symposium (Virtual)
November 9-10, 2020
The Biomedical Graduate Student Symposium (BGSS) is a student-run event that celebrates student research in the School of Medicine at CWRU. This event will consist of student poster presentations, student oral presentations, and a keynote address from Dr. Yasmine Belkaid, National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID). BGSS will also partner with the Career Opportunities for Trainees Series (COTS) for a career panel (details and panelists to be announced).

Contact casebgss@gmail.com with any questions or concerns.
Additional Upcoming Events
People v. Cancer: Equity in Care
1:00pm ET, Thursday, October 22 via Zoom EventCast
The battle against Cancer pushes the limits of science, human will, and perseverance. But when it comes to cancer care and the latest cutting edge research, not everyone benefits equally. A reflection of the state of health equity overall, patients of color too often find that their needs are not sufficiently being met.

Join The Atlantic's first episode of the People v. Cancer series to explore the health equity challenges facing patients, providers, and institutions and what is being done to improve cancer care for all.

Hear from speakers such as:
  • Lee Green, Vice President of Diversity, Moffitt Cancer Center
  • Karen Winkfield, Executive Director, Meharry-Vanderbilt Alliance & SU2C Health Equity Committee Member
  • Harold Varmus, Professor, Meyer Cancer Center, Weill Cornell Medicine
NCCN 2021 Annual Conference: Call for Abstracts
Abstract Deadline: November 11, 2020
NCCN is now accepting abstracts for consideration to be presented during the NCCN 2021 Annual Conference General Poster Session at the Rosen Shingle Creek in Orlando, Florida on Thursday, March 18 and Friday, March 19, 2021. NCCN welcomes original abstracts from investigators in the general oncology community. Submissions will be accepted from academic institutions, teaching and community hospitals, or industry. Both NCCN and non-NCCN institutions may participate.

Research may fall into the general areas below:

  • Clinical Oncology (all phases)
  • Pre-Clinical Oncology
  • Epidemiology/Risks/Prevention
  • Correlative/Genomic
  • Best Practices in Implementation and Use of Clinical Practice Guidelines
  • Quality Improvement
  • Outcomes and Health Services Research
  • Bioinformatics/Information Technology Sciences
Sixth Computational Approaches for Cancer Workshop (CAFCW20)
Workshop: November 13, 2020
The National Cancer Institute Center for Biomedical Informatics and Information Technology and SC20 are seeking abstracts for presentations for the Sixth Computational Approaches for Cancer Workshop (CAFCW20). CAFCW20 is a workshop designed to bring together clinicians, cancer biologists, mathematicians, data scientists, computational scientists, engineers, developers, thought leaders, and anyone else interested in advancing computation to use in cancer care and research. This year’s topic is “AI and HPC: Overcoming Data Challenges in Cancer Research and Clinical Applications.”

A special emphasis for the CAFCW20 is the role of HPC and AI to address research challenges when data are limited by availability, variability and size. The workshop will be held in conjunction with SC20: The International Conference on High Performance Computing, Networking, Storage and Analysis in Atlanta, GA., on November 15.
Upcoming Policy Forums: Cost of Cancer, Tobacco
November 16 and November 19, 2020
More than 70,000 Ohioans will be diagnosed with cancer in 2020 and the decisions made in the statehouse or in the White House can be just as consequential for patients as the decisions made in their doctor’s office.

Join the American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network (ACS CAN) for a virtual, wide-ranging discussion about the public policies that affect the cost of, access to and delivery of cancer treatment on Monday, November 16 at 11:00 am. Register for the Virtual Cancer Policy Forum: The Cost of Cancer in Ohio.

On Thursday, November 19 at 11:30 am, ASC CAN is hosting the annual Northern Ohio Policy Forum, bringing together leaders from business, education, government and research communities. The 2020 event will discuss the toll of tobacco. Register for the 2020 Northern Ohio Policy Forum: The Toll of Tobacco.
SGO 2021 Annual Meeting
Abstract Deadline: October 23, 2020
Annual Meeting: March 20-23, 2021
The Society of Gynecologic Oncology (SGO) Annual Meeting on Women’s Cancer is a comprehensive forum for the subspecialty of gynecologic oncology. Whether you’re a physician, surgeon, researcher, allied health professional or a student in the field, you can join us to make the connections that will boost your career, see what’s new in gynecologic oncology science and research, and learn the best practices and techniques that can take your care to the next level.

The Call for Abstracts and Surgical Films for the SGO 2021 Annual Meeting on Women’s Cancer is open through October 23, 2020. Call for Late-breaking abstracts will be open December 1, 2020 through January 4, 2021.

Funding Opportunities
LOI Deadline: November 9, 2020
Full Application Deadline: November 23, 2020
The Case Comprehensive Cancer Center, with funds from its American Cancer Society Institutional Research Grant, will provide seed money to foster cancer research by junior faculty who have no current national grant support of their own. Investigators in the CWRU School of Medicine, University Hospitals of Cleveland, and Cleveland Clinic Lerner College of Medicine as well as in other schools and colleges affiliated with Case Western Reserve University are eligible. Grants, not to exceed $40,000, will be awarded to investigators who intend to gather preliminary data to be used in seeking future and independently funded programs.

Award Description
  • Pilot funding for cancer-related research with a basic, clinical, prevention & control, behavioral, health services, or epidemiological focus.
  • Up to $40,000 award
  • Grants will be awarded to junior investigators who intend to gather preliminary data to be used in seeking future and independently funded programs

Postdoctoral fellows, graduate students, research associates, and instructors within another PI’s laboratory are not eligible to apply for these research grants. The subject of the proposed research must be directly related to cancer. The principal investigator must be a full-time member of the faculty within 6 years of their first full-time independent faculty appointment (or equivalent).

The Case Comprehensive Cancer Center seeks proposals for projects to be included in the upcoming renewal application for the current Case GI SPORE program. 

All Case CCC faculty members are invited to submit project pre-proposals to compete for R01-level funding for up to five years by selection for incorporation as a full project in the GI SPORE renewal application. 

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 of consented human tissues as defined in the SPORE RFA.

Proposal Guidelines
  • Proposals must include two project leaders: one Basic Science leader and one Clinical leader. 
  • Maximum Funding Level: $200,000/year direct costs per year (for five years)
  • Proposal will include 6-page Research Strategy, biosketches for key personnel, and budget (see instructions for details).
  • Successful applicants commit to submit a full 12-page proposal for further review by the GI SPORE External Advisory Board.
  • Previously submitted SPORE pilot applications are welcome to be resubmitted as full projects, and may be updated with any new progress. 
Deadline: December 1, 2020
The Case Comprehensive Cancer Center requests applications for Cancer Data Sciences pilot projects. Cancer Data Sciences will serve as a discipline in the Case CCC to standardize and organize data for optimal use and leverage advanced analytic approaches to enable independent and synergistic research for basic, clinical, population and translation sciences. Pilot applications should focus on driving new analytical capabilities, developing novel algorithms in order to mine, organize, and standardize cancer data as well as utilizing data sciences approaches to extract knowledge from complex, multi-level cancer data for maximal impact.

Award Description
  • Four (4) awards each at a maximum of $45,000, for one year will be awarded, with the potential for a second year dependent on progress. 
  • Metrics and Milestones will be: novel algorithms to be disseminated to Cancer center members, standardized datasets to be available to Cancer center members, peer-reviewed publications, peer-reviewed meeting presentations and/or generation of pilot data for peer-reviewed funding. 
  • Open to Case Comprehensive Cancer Center members. 
In The News
Fast Frontiers Podcast - September 22, 2020
Anant Madabhushi, PhD was interviewed for the Fast Frontiers podcast which explores how innovation frontiers are emerging in surprising places. Madabhushi elaborates on how Cleveland’s unique medical ecosystem and the ease of access for biomedical engineers to work with medical practitioners has allowed for some groundbreaking and innovative work at the intersection of AI and precision medicine.
Elemental - October 8, 2020
“We must prepare for a surge this fall that will almost certainly surpass the April peak we experienced under stay-at-home orders and that may equal or eclipse our summer surge when we let go of the reins,” says Mark Cameron, PhD, an immunologist and researcher in the School of Medicine at Case Western Reserve University. Dr. Cameron is a member of the Case CCC.
From The NIH
Weekly NIH Funding Opportunities and Notices

Funding Opportunities

Due dates may vary by awarding IC.

Deadlines: February 18, 2021; July 9, 2021; October 8, 2021; February 14, 2022; July 11, 2022; October 11, 2022; February 14, 2023; July 10, 2023; October 10, 2023

Deadlines: February 18, 2021; July 9, 2021; October 8, 2021; February 14, 2022; July 11, 2022; October 11, 2022; February 14, 2023; July 10, 2023; October 10, 2023

Deadline: January 29, 2021

Deadline: January 29, 2021

Deadline: February 1, 2021
COVID-19 Funding Opportunities and Notices
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