October 23, 2020
From the National Cancer Institute
NCI Director's Report: NCI commemorates 50th anniversary of the National Cancer Act
Ned Sharpless
From The Cancer Letter: NCI plans to mark the 50th anniversary of the National Cancer Act of 1971 with an effort to build a coalition of support for cancer research, including raising the payline to 15% by 2025.

“With your help, this commemoration can become a movement to coalesce support around our common goals,” NCI Director Ned Sharpless, MD said Oct. 13 during the virtual annual meeting of the Association of American Cancer Institutes and Cancer Center Administrators Forum. “We’d like you to use this framework to talk about your own episodes of progress—how your own cancer centers have contributed to cancer research throughout the decades.”

NCI’s tagline for the campaign—“Nothing will stop us”—will be made available to cancer centers, professional societies, and others. The Cancer Letter will take part in this initiative.

“When I say ‘us,’ I really mean all of us,” Sharpless said. “I really think this is an opportunity for all of us across the research community to clearly say to people with cancer, and the many more whose lives have been touched by cancer, that nothing will stop us in this regard.”

The 50th anniversary of the National Cancer Act is an important opportunity to sustain public support for cancer research progress, Sharpless said.
Member/Center Highlights
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Gerson to serve as School of Medicine interim dean for another year
From The Daily: Interim President Scott Cowen and Provost Ben Vinson III announced Tuesday that Interim Dean Stan Gerson, MD has agreed to extend his term for another year, to June 30, 2022.

“We knew Stan’s deep familiarity with the medical school and its hospital partners would give him distinct advantages as he started in this role,” Interim President Scott Cowen said. “But his ability to apply them in such an engaging and inclusive way has far exceeded even our heightened expectations. We are delighted he will helm the school throughout the 2021-2022 academic year.”

A Distinguished University Professor and longtime Director of the Case Comprehensive Cancer Center, Gerson accepted the interim role after now-President Emerita Barbara R. Snyder announced she would step down to lead the Association of American Universities starting Oct. 1.
2nd Annual Artificial Intelligence in Oncology Symposium draws international audience for expert talks and virtual networking
Earlier this week, the second annual Artificial Intelligence in Oncology Symposium (AIO 2020) was held by the Case Comprehensive Cancer Center (Case CCC) and the Center for Computational Imaging and Personalized Diagnostics (CCIPD) at Case Western Reserve University.

While there are a number of meetings and workshops discussing Artificial Intelligence (AI) in medicine and AI in cancer, we began planning this event last year with specific intentions of introducing advances in AI in medicine from technical experts with input from key opinion leaders in ethics, policy, regulatory issues, reimbursement and deployment around AI. This year’s four sessions were organized across two days and focused on the role of AI in digital pathology, radiology, drug discovery, and ethics and policy. We were treated to fascinating talks and engaging and exciting panel discussions throughout the symposium. In the digital pathology session, our speakers covered a range of topics spanning the role of AI to predict genomic mutations from pathology images, the role of AI in pharma, challenges and the need for deploying AI in the clinical pathology environment. Geraldine McGinty, MD, MBA, FACR provided an outstanding plenary talk on the role of and the opportunities for AI in radiology. Her key message: radiologists, do not be scared that Artificial Intelligence is going to take away your job, instead, embrace it. The subsequent session on AI in radiology covered challenges and concerns around AI interpretability, the need for large and well-annotated and publicly available imaging datasets, the need to test for AI generalizability and the potential for bias in the training of AI algorithms.

Day two began with three compelling talks on the role of AI in drug discovery. We heard from experts on the opportunities and latest advances in the use of AI for drug discovery, drug repurposing and drug response. The panel discussion covered a range of topics including the role of considering a plurality of populations, the utility of pre-clinical and publicly available datasets in the training of AI approaches, and also the role of pharma in driving innovations in this space. The session was followed by six outstanding talks by students and medical trainees showcasing the use of Artificial Intelligence for lung, brain tumors, the role of AI for predicting outcome and response to chemotherapy and immunotherapy and also the need to carefully consider the role of ethics around AI. The final session focused on ethical and policy considerations in the use of Artificial Intelligence, with three engaging talks covering hype around AI in cancer screening and for precision oncology and targeted therapies, AI for vaccine discovery and the need to consider diverse and underrepresented populations and geographies for building the AI, and finally a discussion around the framework to evaluate the benefits and risks of AI, and paths for payer integration around embracing these emerging technologies.

The main symposium was followed by two parallel “Ask the Expert” virtual meet-ups, one on AI in digital pathology and the other focused on AI in radiology. The break-outs provided an opportunity for trainees, students and junior investigators to ask questions on career paths and employment opportunities in AI and medicine.

While we covered a variety of issues, it is clear that there is still a lot of work to be done in thinking about how Artificial Intelligence can be used for addressing health disparities and social inequality, as well as moving AI from academic labs and into the clinic. In other words, I think this meeting has inspired the next set of questions and sessions for AIO 2021.

It turns out that planning a virtual meeting is just as, and in some ways, more challenging compared to an in-person symposium and none of this could have taken place without the enormous work, energy and dedication of many people both on-screen and behind-the-scenes. From our planning committee and speakers to our staff at CCIPD and the Case CCC, and an incredible campus AV team, many folks made sure this event ran smoothly. Our meeting exceeded expectations, with over 330 registrants, thank you to our participants spanning 5 continents, 16 countries and 26 US states, for making this event a success. Again, we’d like to thank our sponsors and exhibitors: Aiforia, Bristol Myers Squibb, Larvol, Pfizer, Jay and Harita Patel, Boehringer Ingelheim, Genentech, and Tempus for their generous support.

Thank you again to all who joined us for this symposium. As a reminder, the recorded talks will be available via Whova for six months and we greatly appreciate any feedback you have for us via this year’s survey. We are already looking forward to seeing you in-person at AIO 2021 next year!
Chair, AIO 2020 Planning Committee
Donnell Institute Professor, Biomedical Engineering
Director, Center for Computational Imaging & Personalized Diagnostics
Case Western Reserve University
Case GI SPORE seeks proposals for inclusion in upcoming program renewal
The Case GI SPORE was first funded in 2011 and renewed in 2017 with an $11.3 million research grant a Specialized Program of Research Excellence (SPORE) in GI Cancers.

The Case GI SPORE is once again preparing to submit a competitive renewal application in Sept. 2021. As part of that renewal process we invite R01-level project pre-proposals for the opportunity to be incorporated into the application as full projects. Previously submitted SPORE pilot applications are welcome and encouraged to submit as full projects, especially if they are updated with new progress.

Final selection of projects to be included in the renewal application will be decided by myself and GI SPORE co-PI, Nate Berger, MD. Successful applicants will commit to submitting a full 12-page proposal for further review by the GI SPORE External Advisory Board.

All projects should include a Basic Science and Clinical Leader. 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.

Per SPORE NCI guidelines, each project much incorporate at least one of the following human endpoints:
  • Early phase clinical trials of new investigational drugs, biologics, experimental procedures, medical devices, or combinations
  • Early phase clinical trials of new combinations or new uses of Food and Drug Administration (FDA)-approved agents and devices
  • Discovery and development of biomarkers, only when measurements are made in human specimens, or directly in human subjects
  • Laboratory studies that begin with an observation in the clinic and use human specimens to generate new clinical hypotheses
  • Population, behavioral, or psychosocial studies, when these studies address and measure mechanistic aspects of the biology of the disease
  • Investigational new drug (IND)-directed toxicology studies conducted following a pre-IND meeting with the FDA in which the plan proposed by the investigators is acceptable to the FDA

Experiments using cell lines, xenografts, patient-derived xenografts (PDX), organoids, paired germline samples, or engineered tissues may be important to the translational studies proposed and are encouraged, but are not sufficient to meet the human endpoint requirement.

Pre-proposals should be in PHS 398 format with one page of specific aims and 6 pages of research strategy. Please submit your pre-proposals by November 15, 2020. If you have any questions about the GI SPORE, please contact SPORE administrator, Ms. Peggy Irwin at email: mji2@case.edu.
Sanford Markowitz
I look forward to receiving your proposals and am excited at the prospect of collaborating with you.

Principal Investigator, Case GI SPORE
Co-Leader, GI Cancer Genetics Program, Case Comprehensive Cancer Center
Cancer-focused Summer Undergraduate Research (CanSUR) Program to open applications for 2021 scholars mid-November
Launched in 2019, the Cancer-focused Summer Undergraduate Research Program, CanSUR, supports 32 undergraduates for a 10-week period (June through August) each summer. Undergraduates will be accepted from colleges and universities from across the country to work with one of 82 Case Comprehensive Cancer Center (Case CCC) researchers.

This year, 32 exceptional undergraduates from over 200 applications and 77 schools were selected for the program, but in the interest of public safety in the face of the pandemic, the summer 2020 program was canceled.

The Case Comprehensive Cancer Center's Office of Cancer Training, Education and Research is hopeful that the 10-week summer program for 2021 will take place and will begin accepting applications on November 16.

Questions about CanSUR? Please contact Education Program Manager Gena Richmann at gnb15@case.edu.
Hu to lead multi-omics data analysis efforts as Cleveland Clinic joins new consortium to map nuclear DNA in four-dimension
Cleveland Clinic has been named a participating institution for the newly established Center for Integrated Multi-Modal and Multi-Scale Nucleome Research, made possible by a recently awarded five-year, $6.5 million consortium grant from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) Common Fund. Ming Hu, PhD, assistant staff in the Department of Quantitative Health Sciences, and member of the Case CCC's Molecular Oncology Program, is a co-investigator on the grant and will lead the center's multi-omics data analysis efforts. This large grant is one of the latest to be funded as part of NIH's 4D Nucleome Program, which seeks to better understand how genetic material is organized within our cells and how the spatial organization of chromatin contributes to human health and disease.
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
Friday, October 23, 2020, 12p via Zoom
Today'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
Clinical and Translational Investigators of the Case Comprehensive Cancer Center are invited to attend the upcoming virtual Clinical Research Retreat: Immunotherapy in Cancer Clinical Research on October 28, 2020 from 5-7 pm ET.

Former NCI K12 Paul Calabrese Scholar and current PRMC chairperson Leland Metheny, MD will kick-off the retreat with a presentation on “Post-hematopoietic Transplant Immunotherapy.”

Timothy Chan, MD, PhD, Director of the Center for Immunotherapy and Precision Immuno-Oncology at Cleveland Clinic, will deliver the keynote address, “Immunotherapy: Evolving Landscape of Mechanisms and Modalities.” Dr. Chan is a renowned expert in immune-oncology who joined the Cancer Center in April from Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center.

Retreat participants will have the opportunity to ask both speakers questions about clinical research and the future of immunotherapy.

Clinical research and training are hallmark activities of an exceptional academic cancer center. The Case Comprehensive Cancer Center organizes Clinical Research Retreats twice a year to encourage engagement across institutions and foster a collaborative, forward-moving research environment.
Cancer Center Seminar Series
Friday, October 30, 2020, 12p via Zoom
Next week's Cancer Center Seminar features Trevor Archer, PhD presenting, "Diversity and Heterogeneity in Chromatin and Transcription" at noon via Zoom.

Dr. Archer is an NIH Distinguished Investigator and Chief of the Epigenetic & Stem Cell Biology Laboratory (ESCBL) at the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences, National Institutes of Health.
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
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™.
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).

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. 
The RADxx Awards will honor four outstanding individuals who have helped to lead the way or are emerging fresh voices in imaging informatics. These individuals could be physicians or work in the field in other roles such as administration or IT. They will have actively helped raise awareness for medical imaging informatics, one of the fastest growing disciplines within healthcare.

RADxx Trailblazer
This RADxx award recognizes a pioneering woman leader in imaging informatics.
  • Must have been in the field for at least 10 years.
  • Should now hold (or have in recent past help) a leadership role in the field of radiology, medical imaging administration, IT, or operations.
  • Must have demonstrated contributions in advancing imaging informatics – for example: established mentor/residency programs, published research or articles, spoken at industry events, regular social media contributions, etc.

RADxx Advocate
This RADxx award is open to both men and women who have helped support and further the advancement of women in imaging informatics.
  • Demonstrated contributions to the career advancement of women in imaging informatics – for example: helped someone (or many) be promoted, encouraged them to enter the field, get on a high profile project, attain funding for research, gain tenure, etc.
  • Significantly contributed to raising awareness of imaging informatics – for example: via speaking engagements, social media, published thought leadership content, etc.

RADxx Rising Star
This RADxx award recognizes the next generation of emerging women leaders in imaging informatics. In addition to the award recognition, this recipient will receive a travel award to attend the SIIM Annual Conference and will be paired with leaders from the RADxx community to provide a priceless, guided mentor experience while at the event!
  • Must be in early to mid-career-stages – for example, less than 10 years experience for IT or imaging operations professionals and in residency, fellowship or junior faculty physicians
  • Demonstrated an impact in evolving the field of imaging informatics through the use of modern practices.
  • Actively raises awareness of imaging informatics – for example: via speaking engagements, social media, published thought leadership content, etc.

RADxx Champion
This RADxx award recognizes individuals who have helped to sponsor the career development of women in medical imaging informatics.
  • Should now hold (or have in recent past held) a leadership role in the field of radiology, medical imaging administration, IT, or operations.
  • Must be able to demonstrate a history of mentoring and sponsoring women as they advance in imaging informatics – for example: established mentor/residency programs, published research or articles, spoken at industry events, regular social media contributions, etc.
In The News
Inventiva - September 22, 2020
After all, regardless of whether SARS-CoV-2 diligence was an uncommon occasion, those cases could include, given the gigantic quantities of individuals (over 29 million as of September 15) who have contracted COVID-19 up until this point, notes Jonathan Karn, PhD, a virologist at Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine in Cleveland. Dr. Karn is a member of the Case CCC.
GruntStuff - October 14, 2020
“That is an thrilling study which gives additional affirmation that methylation-based assays can detect cell-free circulating tumour DNA and should kind the premise for brand spanking new screening assessments that detect cancer at early levels,” said Cleveland Clinic's Eric Klein, MD. Dr. Klein is a member of the Case CCC.
From The NIH
Weekly NIH Funding Opportunities and Notices
COVID-19 Funding Opportunities and Notices
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