SEPTEMBER 20, 2019
Message from the Director
Dr. Stan Gerson
Stan Gerson, MD
Director, Case Comprehensive Cancer Center
Dilemmas in Cancer Decision-Making
My approach to best care has always been to think of a clinical trial first and use best available evidence next. That approach was unnerved by this week's excellent Perspective in the NEJM by Robert Aronowitz and Jeremy Greene.

Aronowitz and Greene's perceptive and moving account of an all too common cancer decision-making dilemma regarding the management of Gleason 7 prostate cancer in a 66 year-old is riveting. Based on best-available evidence at the time - 2006 - a recommendation of surgery led to an apparent cure, with incontinence and impotence and a decline in quality of life. Yet, later evidence might have led to a "watch and wait" approach or no diagnosis at all.

I bring this to your attention because the authors reflect on the Heisenberg uncertainty principle with the statement that the study of prostate cancer management and detection has resulted in changes in practice and in decision-making, noting that, "The resulting instability of medical knowledge will not be solved by medical progress."
Most of us will shudder at that conclusion, but there is wisdom in it. As they describe, the study of medicine necessarily leads to, "contingent knowledge and looping effects." We change what we study and our affirmation of eureka moments will be followed by ever-changing interpretations and modulation, if not outright recognition of failure of our premature proof. QED does not appear in the medical lexicon for a good reason. This Perspective is really worthwhile for all to read, as it will inform your next discovery, your next interpretation, your next question of a cohort study, interpretation of a clinical trial and your support for a Prevention Task Force recommendation.

Use your knowledge wisely.
Member/Center Highlights
Gmail users: to ensure you're always viewing the entire newsletter, check at the bottom of the email to see if the newsletter has been "clipped" and click "view entire message" if so.
CTSC logo
Cancer Center Members Awarded CTSC Annual Pilot Grants
Congratulations to the below Case Comprehensive Cancer Center members from the Case Western Reserve University (CWRU) School of Medicine who were recently announced as recipients of Annual Pilot Awards from the Cleveland Clinical & Translational Science Collaborative (CTSC)!

Up to $50,000 in direct costs are available through the 2020 CTSC Annual Pilot Award Program, which is accepting letters of intent through 11:59 pm, October 15, 2019.
Chris Flask, PhD
Chris Flask, PhD
"In Vivo Assessment of Cystic Fibrosis Transmembrane Conductance Regulator Function with Dual Contrast–Magnetic Resonance Fingerprinting (DC-MRF)"
David Wald, MD, PhD
"Development of and NK Cell CAR"
Sichun Yang, PhD
"Throughput Targeting the Cross-Talk Between Domains in Estrogen Receptor"
Journal Highlight: Ex vivo screen identifies CDK12 as a metastatic vulnerability in osteosarcoma
A team of investigators from Case Western Reserve University (CWRU), CWRU School of Medicine, Case Comprehensive Cancer Center, Cleveland Clinic, and Dana-Farber Cancer Institute recently published an article in the Journal of Clinical Investigation highlighting CDK12 (cyclin-dependent kinase 12) as a potential therapeutic target in osteosarcoma. The team developed an approach to screen for drugs that inhibit osteosarcoma cells from growing in the lung where they metastasize. Peter Scacheri, PhD, professor of genetics and genome sciences and member of the Case CCC's GI Cancer Genetics Program, is a co-senior author of the article.
Tumor Immunology and Immunotherapy Meetings to Begin Oct 7
The first Monday of each month, the Case Comprehensive Cancer Center will host Tumor Immunology and Immunotherapy meetings consisting of a short open forum followed by a presentation and discussion. Meetings will alternate between room CA5-124 at Cleveland Clinic Taussig Cancer Institute and the Cancer Center's main conference room, Wolstein Research Building 1-422D.

The first meeting will take place from 4-5:30p on Monday, October 7 in CA5-124. Stefanie Avril, MD will present. Parking validation is available. Following meetings are posted to the Case CCC Calendar. To receive emails regarding this meeting, please contact Christina Buzzy, PhD, Assistant Director of Research Programs, at
VeloSano 6 Fundraising Ends Oct 1
When VeloSano weekend 2019 came to a close, Team Case Comprehensive Cancer Center had already secured over $57,300 in donations and collectively covered more than 4,820 miles for cancer research right here in Cleveland!

To-date, our team of 90 riders has raised $67,410 and is in the top 15 fundraising teams of the year! Again, we would like to thank everyone who rode with us, volunteered, or supported our team through donations. Funds raised go directly to cancer research thanks to VeloSano's incredible partners. The team is able to continue to collect tax-deductible contributions through October 1, 2019 if you would like to show your support for this year's efforts.
What's Coming Up
Mark Your Calendar
Cancer Center Seminar Series
September 20, 12p
Alternate Location: BRB Auditorium 105

Our interdisciplinary seminar series addresses cutting-edge clinical, translational, and basic research topics in cancer.

This week's seminar will take place in the Biomedical Research Building Auditorium (BRB 105) at 12 pm and features Yogen Saunthararajah, MD. He will present, "Non-Cytotoxic Drugs to Terminate Cancer but not Normal Self-Replication."

Dr. Saunthararajah is a staff physician at Cleveland Clinic, professor of medicine at Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine and Co-Leader of the Developmental Therapeutics Program at the Case Comprehensive Cancer Center. 
Cancer Center Special Seminar
September 23, 12p
WRB 2-136

All are welcome to attend a special cancer center seminar at 12 pm on Monday, September 23 in the WRB conference room 2-136 as Kenneth P. Nephew, PhD presents, "Epigenetic Re-wiring of Cancer and Cancer Stem Cells for Cancer Therapy."

Dr. Nephew is professor of anatomy, cell biology, and physiology, part of the medical sciences program at Indiana University School of Medicine.
Cancer Center Seminar Series
September 20, 12p
WRB Auditorium

Next week's Cancer Center Seminar will return to the Wolstein Research Building Auditorium and feature Carolyn Anderson, PhD presenting, "Theranostics Targeting Tumor Cells and Immune Cells."

Dr. Anderson is a professor of medicine at the University of Pittsburgh as well as Director of the Nuclear Molecular Imaging Lab and co-director of the In Vivo Imaging Facility at UPMC HIllman Cancer Center.

Her research interests include the development and evaluation of novel radiometal-based radiopharmaceuticals for diagnostic imaging and targeted radiotherapy of cancer and other diseases.
Women's Cancers Initiative Mini-Retreat
September 28, 8a-1p
WRB Auditorium

Members: as the Case Comprehensive Cancer Center builds the Women's Cancers Initiative, a mini-retreat will be held Saturday, September 28 to identify investigators, projects and general themes of research strengths and interests.

Our goal is to be as comprehensive as possible to ensure that all aspects of Women's Cancers research being conducted in Cleveland are represented at the retreat and in the initiative. Additional information regarding the retreat structure will be available soon.
CWRU SOM logo - png
Stefanie Avril
Norma C. and Albert I. Geller Designated Professorship of Ovarian Cancer Research Celebration
October 3, 4:30p
Wolstein Research Building

A program and reception celebrating the appointment of Stefanie Avril, MD as the Norma C. and Albert I. Geller Designated Professor of Ovarian Cancer Research will be held Thursday, October 3, 2019 at 4:30 pm in the Wolstein Research Building.

Complimentary valet parking will be available on Circle Drive between Mayfield and Cornell roads.

Please RSVP by September 26, 2019 to .
Artificial Intelligence in Oncology Symposium
October 24, 2019
Tinkham Veale University Center

The Case Comprehensive Cancer Center and Center for Computational Imaging and Personalized Diagnostics at Case Western Reserve University (CWRU) will host the inaugural  Artificial Intelligence in Oncology Symposium : Advancements in Policy at CWRU on Thursday, October 24, 2019.

The symposium will bring together experts in AI and machine learning as well as clinical, industry and federal agency experts in pathology, radiology, oncology and immuno-oncology to speak on research developments, regulatory policy, reimbursement and ethics surrounding AI.

Symposium Highlights:
  • Focused panel discussions
  • Networking opportunities
  • Exhibitions available throughout the day

  • Sohrab Shah, PhD, Chief, Computational Oncology, Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center

Seats are filling quickly, so don't wait!  A discount for students and trainees who wish to attend is available. We look forward to seeing you in October!
Early Bird Registration and Call for Abstracts: Innovators in AYA Cancer
November 14-15, 2019
Tinkham Veale University Center

The Angie Fowler Adolescent and Young Adult (AYA) Cancer Research Initiative of the Case Comprehensive Cancer Center invites you to attend Innovators in AYA Cancer: Driving Science and Policy toward a Brighter Future for Teens and Young Adults with Cancer this November at Case Western Reserve University.

Call for Abstracts
The Symposium will feature a poster session and Rising Star oral presentations. All students, postdocs, residents, fellows and faculty conducting research in AYA cancer are invited to submit abstracts. Monetary prizes will be awarded. Abstracts must be submitted electronically by Friday, October 18, 2019 at 5pm ET. Learn more>

Be sure to register by October 18, 2019 to secure our discounted early bird registration . A discount for students and trainees who wish to attend is available. We look forward to seeing you in November!
Save the Date: 4th Annual Cancer Disparities Symposium
March 6, 2020
Tinkham Veale University Center

The Case Comprehensive Cancer Center Office of Cancer Disparities Research will present the   4th Annual Cancer Disparities Symposium : Cultivating Science and Community Engagement to Address Cancer Health Disparities on March 6, 2020. 

The symposium will feature keynote presentations by renowned disparities
researchers and community leaders, a poster session highlighting academic research and community programs, networking session and an all-attendee forum.

Call for Abstracts
The   4th Annual Cancer Disparities Symposium is a premier event for presenting cutting-edge cancer disparities science and related community programs and services. The Office of Cancer Disparities Research will divide abstracts into two tracks:   Scientific Research   and   Community Programs and Services . Scientific Research abstracts are encouraged from multidisciplinary researchers that are focused on various aspects of health disparities and/or community-focused science. Community programs and service abstracts are encouraged from organizations that provide programs and services that benefit the community. Meritorious abstracts will be selected for oral presentation.  Abstracts must be submitted electronically by 5p EST on Tuesday, December 3, 2019.   Learn more>
Additional Upcoming Events
Cleveland Clinic Children's Pediatric Cancer Survivorship Symposium
September 28, 2019, 8a-3:30p
Cleveland Clinic Main Campus
NCI Symposium on Personal Control of Genomic Data for Research
September 26-27, 2019
Bethesda, MD
Cleveland Clinic Colorectal Oncology Conference
October 18-19, 2019, 8a-3:30p
Naples, FL
Discounted registration ends today!
Cleveland Clinic Breast Cancer Update: From Detection Through Treatment to Survivorship
November 13, 2019
Independence, OH
Funding Opportunities
Deadlines Vary by Award

LOI Deadline: Friday, October 18, 2019
Up to $120,000 of seed funding for innovative and impactful proposals that will generate key data for nationally competitive MPI grants. Projects must be focused on the establishment or support of a collaborative effort by 2 or more independent investigators with the goal of submitting an MPI extramural grant application.

LOI Deadline: Friday, October 18, 2019
Up to $180,000 of seed funding for innovative and impactful proposals that will generate key data for nationally competitive multi-investigator/team grants (P01, U01, SPORE, etc.).

LOI Deadline: Friday, October 18, 2019
Up to $75,000 of seed funding for outstanding, independent junior faculty to aid in generating key data for nationally competitive grants, particularly the development of R01 and Scholar Awards.

Applications accepted and awarded on a rolling basis
$25,000 of seed funding to support the resubmission and/or competitive renewal efforts of strong grant applications that narrowly missed the payline at national funding agencies. Ideal candidates are those with R01 applications scored at the 20th percentile or better.
cancer research institute logo
Deadline: October 1

The CRI Irvington Postdoctoral Fellowship Program supports qualified young scientists at leading universities and research centers around the world who wish to receive training in fundamental immunology or cancer immunology.

Newly awarded fellowships provide a stipend of $55,000 for the first year, $57,000 for the second year, and $59,000 for the third year. In addition, an allowance of $1,500 per year is allotted to the host institution for use at the sponsor’s discretion to help pay for the fellow’s research supplies, travel to scientific meetings, and/or health insurance.

The Institute seeks hypothesis-driven, mechanistic studies in both immunology and tumor immunology. Applicants and sponsors should demonstrate the potential of the proposed studies to directly impact our understanding of the immune system’s role in cancer.

  • Must be working in areas directly related to immunology or cancer immunology.
  • Must have a doctoral degree by the date of award activation.
  • Proposed research to be conducted under a sponsor who holds a formal appointment at the host institution.
  • Applicants with 5+ years of relevant postdoctoral experience are not eligible, with the exception of MD applicants, who should not include years of residency in this calculation.
  • Fellowship can be performed in the United States or abroad, but must take place at a non-profit institution. There are no citizenship restrictions.
  • Only one fellow per sponsor may apply per application round and faculty sponsors may not have more than three CRI-supported fellows at any time.
In The News
Nature Research - Sept 11
Two radiomics papers from the Center for Computational Imaging and Personalized Diagnostics at CWRU were recently highlighted in a Nature Research Editor's Choice collection. Contributors to the papers (" Radiogenomic analysis of hypoxia pathway is predictive of overall survival in Glioblastoma" and " Co-occurrence of Local Anisotropic Gradient Orientations (CoLlAGe): A new radiomics descriptor") include Case CCC members Manmeet Ahluwalia, MD, Anant Madabhushi, PhD, Pallavi Tiwari, PhD and Vinay Varadan, PhD.
WKYC Live on Lakeside - Sept 18
In a feature for an upcoming immunotherapy fundraising event, the Case Comprehensive Cancer Center is acknowledged for clinical trial and research efforts. University Hospitals hematologist-oncologist, Director of the Angie Fowler Institute and Case CCC member John Letterio, MD expands on the future impact of immunotherapy and cancer care in our community. Dr. Letterio also co-chairs the planning committee for the upcoming Innovators in AYA Cancer Symposium.
From The NIH
Weekly NIH Funding Opportunities and Notices
Have something to share?
Use the button below to submit all your news, events, announcements and communications requests to the Case CCC Marketing and Communications team!

Please note, w e ask that you provide event information at least two weeks in advance to be included on our calendar and newsletter. This advance notice allows us to best serve our distribution lists without cluttering inboxes.