The Caris POA Closes 2021 with 5 New Members
It’s been a busy close to the year for the Caris POA as we’ve welcomed five new members to the alliance: Ohio State University, NCI/NIH, Johns Hopkins University, Weill Cornell Medicine, and Tampa General Hospital, bringing our total to 58 members.
When formed in 2015, our goal for the POA was to become the leading cancer research enterprise. To do so, we knew we had to partner with institutions who put patients at the center of their practice, are leaders in oncology, and are focused on improving patient outcomes through the development of precision medicine programs and practices. Only through our collaborative efforts can we truly revolutionize cancer care. With each institution who joins our alliance, we get one step closer to that goal of being the preeminent research network worldwide.
AdventHealth’s supply chain team has been recognized in the Gartner Healthcare Supply Chain Top 25 for 2021, ranking 10th on the renowned list. This year’s ranking identifies, celebrates and profiles health systems that are effectively navigating the pandemic’s impact through excellence in supply chain management. Gartner’s top 25 ranking is determined by independent panels and quantitative data comprised of IBM Watson Health Scores and bond ratings. Along with the ranking is a report that highlights what organizations’ supply chain leaders are focusing on, where they are pivoting their resources and how these lessons can help other health systems. Read more.
As investigators have developed a greater understanding of treating hematologic malignancies, they have been faced with increasingly complex challenges, especially when classifying and treating these cancers. A lot has changed, according to Jorge E. Cortes, MD, director at the Georgia Cancer Center at Augusta University. Cortes shared his insights in an interview with Targeted Therapies in Oncology™ prior to the 26th Annual International Congress on Hematologic Malignancies®: Focus on Leukemias, Lymphomas, and Myeloma. The conference, hosted by Physicians’ Education Resource®, LLC (PER®), will be held in Miami Beach, Florida, in February 2022. Read more.
Newsweek has named Barrow Neurological Institute one of the world’s best hospitals for neurosurgery. The 2022 rankings, developed in partnership with the global research firm Statista, place Barrow at No. 1 in Arizona, 11 in the United States, and 16 worldwide. The list features 125 hospitals total. Barrow is an international leader in the treatment, research, and education of neurological diseases, conditions, and injuries. Led by Dr. Lawton, one of the world’s top neurosurgeons, the Institute performs more neurosurgical procedures annually than any other facility in the United States. Read more.
Timothy Wang, MD, and Kelley Yan, MD, PhD, have each been awarded 2022 Annual Recognition Prizes(link is external and opens in a new window) from the American Gastroenterological Association (AGA). The AGA is a premier gastroenterological institution with more than 16,000 members globally, involved in all aspects of the science, practice, and advancement of gastroenterology. The AGA Annual Recognition Prizes honor outstanding contributions and achievements in gastroenterological research, care, and education. Read more.
Dana-Farber Cancer Institute and the Lifespan Cancer Institute have agreed to renew their strategic alliance to advance cancer treatment and research. Dana-Farber and the Lifespan Cancer Institute signed an initial agreement in 2017. This renewed agreement will continue to support the expansion of clinical trials, access for Lifespan physicians to cancer-specific disease expertise for complex cases, and the continuation of a highly successful program coordinating the treatment of cell therapy and transplant patients. Cellular therapies and transplants are provided in Boston at Dana-Farber and care surrounding these procedures is provided in Providence at the Lifespan Cancer Institute. The two organizations share patient information through their respective secure electronic health record systems and use the same clinical trials management platform, resulting in better care coordination. Read more.
Zach Reitman, MD, PhD, has been awarded a $97,242 third-year Fellow grant from The St. Baldrick’s Foundation, for a total amount of more than $285,000. This grant will support Dr. Reitman’s work with childhood brain tumors, specifically identifying new treatment approaches that improve the efficacy of radiation treatments, maximize tumor killing and reduce normal tissue toxicities. The grant will also support career development for Dr. Reitman by giving him critical experience with lab management, leadership and grant writing. Read more.
Investigators from Winship Cancer Institute of Emory University have been awarded pilot grants from the Donaldson Charitable Trust Research Synergy Fund, a unique funding opportunity offered jointly by Winship, the Aflac Cancer and Blood Disorders Center of Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta, and the Wallace H. Coulter Department of Biomedical Engineering at Georgia Tech and Emory University. Read more.
Camille Ragin Named Associate Director of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion at Fox Chase Cancer Center
Fox Chase Cancer Center has announced the appointment of Camille Ragin, PhD, MPH, as Associate Director of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI). “We recognize the importance of welcoming diverse voices, valuing different skillsets and backgrounds, and celebrating the collective richness of our individuality. This appointment formalizes leadership to move us forward in this area,” said Jon Chernoff, MD, PhD, Cancer Center Director at Fox Chase Cancer Center. Read more.
Imagine being diagnosed with lung cancer and having the tumor surgically removed on the same day, thereby increasing the opportunity for limited follow-up therapy – or even curing the cancer. A team of pulmonary and thoracic experts at MedStar Georgetown University Hospital are the first in the region to combine these two steps, thus saving precious time for patients in addressing the “beast of all cancers,” according to Eric D. Anderson, MD, director of Interventional Pulmonology at MedStar Georgetown University Hospital. Read more.
Hoag Memorial Hospital Presbyterian has announced that Thomas N. Wang, M.D., Ph.D., F.A.C.S., a prominent researcher and nationally recognized author, has been named medical director of the Hoag Melanoma/Advanced Skin Cancer Program. Dr. Wang comes to Hoag after spending the previous 15 years at the University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB), where he served as a Professor of Surgery at the UAB School of Medicine and Chief of Surgical Oncology for the Birmingham VA Medical Center. As a board-certified surgical oncologist, his deep expertise and commitment to patient care make him the right fit for Hoag, said Burton L. Eisenberg, M.D., F.A.C.S., Grace E. Hoag Executive Medical Director Endowed Chair, Hoag Family Cancer Institute. Read more.
Andrew Chapman, DO, FACP, has been named director of the Sidney Kimmel Cancer Center – Jefferson Health (SKCC), and EVP, Oncology Services. Dr. Chapman has been serving as the Center’s interim director for the past year and has been instrumental in advancing the important work of the Sidney Kimmel Cancer Center, one of only 71 NCI-designated centers in the US. Read more.
$1 Million Gift Establishes Distinguished Chair in Clinical Research at Atrium Health Levine Cancer Institute
Atrium Health Foundation announced a $1 million gift from Gayle and Charles “Carl” Tallardy to further advance clinical research at Atrium Health Levine Cancer Institute. The gift will establish the Gayle J. and Charles C. Tallardy III Foundation Distinguished Chair in Clinical Research Endowment at Levine Cancer Institute. David M. Foureau, associate professor of medicine and research group director of Levine Cancer Institute’s Immune Monitoring Core Laboratory, is the first recipient of the chair. He will be honored at a private investiture ceremony held next month. Read more.
Maryland Oncology Hematology Adds Experienced Gynecologic Surgical Oncologist James Barter, MD, FACOG To White Oak Cancer Center
Maryland Oncology Hematology (MOH), the largest independent oncology practice in Maryland and a member of The US Oncology Network, has added Dr. James Barter, MD, FACOG to their gynecologic oncology and surgical team at White Oak Cancer Center. Dr. Barter is experienced in minimally invasive surgeries and has performed more than 1,700 robotic surgeries and procedures. Dr. Barter joins Maryland Oncology Hematology at The White Oak Cancer Center. Dr. Barters’ current interests include surgery using the Da Vincia surgical robot to assist in gynecologic surgery. He is ranked in the top 15 users worldwide for robotic gynecologic and gynecologic oncology procedures and has lectured both locally and internationally on the topic. Along with his extensive research with Dr. David Min and the HCSS research division, Dr. Barter has activated and overseen clinical trials with over 1,300 patients entered in protocols since 2006. Read more.
After six successful years at the helm of Memorial Healthcare System, the public, nonprofit hospital system in south Broward County that is nationally recognized for providing outstanding patient and family-centered care, Aurelio M. Fernandez, III, FACHE, has announced his retirement. Effective at the end of April 2022, he leaves a legacy that transformed Memorial, its workforce and community. Read more.
In support of President Biden’s Cancer Moonshot℠ goal of fostering data sharing in cancer research, the National Cancer Institute, part of the National Institutes of Health, has launched the Molecular Characterization Initiative for pediatric tumors. This program offers tumor molecular characterization, also called biomarker testing, to children, adolescents, and young adults with newly diagnosed central nervous system tumors who are being treated at hospitals that are affiliated with the Children’s Oncology Group (COG), an NCI-supported clinical trials group that includes more than 200 hospitals and institutions that treat most children diagnosed with cancer in the United States. Read more.
New England Cancer Specialists has become an Affiliate Member of the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, it was announced today. Affiliate Membership reflects a demonstrated commitment to excellence by meeting a wide array of standards and best practices in oncology care. While New England Cancer Specialists is the first physician practice to become an Affiliate Member of Dana-Farber, the two organizations have a long history of collaboration going back more than 30 years. Read more.
In 2021, Northside Hospital Cancer Institute Breast Cancer Program provided more than 5,000 breast cancer screening and diagnostic services to uninsured women. Forty-eight breast cancers were detected. Northside is among the largest breast cancer programs in the country and one of the nation’s leading providers of breast cancer diagnostic and treatment services. Early detection of breast cancer saves the lives of thousands of women each year. However, medically underserved and uninsured women often lack access to care.
More than just socioeconomic factors impact overall cancer screening compliance and risk: Growing evidence shows that both sexual and racial minority status are associated with significantly lower rates of diagnostic cancer screening and preventive services, as well as higher distrust of the health care system. Researchers at The Ohio State University Comprehensive Cancer Center – Arthur G. James Cancer Hospital and Richard J. Solove Research Institute (OSUCCC – James) conducted an extensive review of both peer-reviewed research studies and governmental public health data looking at the so-called “intersectionality” of factors influencing health disparities to determine that this combination of factors influences cancer screening behaviors and cancer risk. Read more.
For cells to thrive, a complex network of three-dimensional structures assembles to read, copy and produce the genetic materials (DNA) needed for cellular function. Understanding how these structures form, and what happens when things go wrong, is an everyday endeavor for researchers at Penn State College of Medicine and Penn State Cancer Institute. Read more.
Piedmont Cancer Institute, P.C., one of the premier cancer practices in Atlanta, would like to congratulate Dr. Vasily J. Assikis for his recognition as one of Atlanta’s Top Doctors in Atlanta Magazine 2021 Health Issue for the 10th year in a row! Dr. Assikis is recognized all over the southeast for his expertise in Genitourinary cancers (urinary tract, bladder, kidneys, prostate, testicles and penis). Read more.
$3.5 Million NIH Grant will Help Harness Worldwide Big Data to Enhance Decision Support in Hodgkin Lymphoma
With the aid of a recently awarded $3.5 million, five-year National Cancer Institute grant (R01CA262265), Rutgers Cancer Institute of New Jersey, New Jersey’s only NCI-designated Comprehensive Cancer Center, and Tufts Medical Center in Boston are collaborating on groundbreaking work that is unifying global multi-source big data in order to enhance clinical decision support for improved acute and long-term outcomes for Hodgkin lymphoma patients around the world. Read more.
A team of multidisciplinary specialists at the Pacific Neuroscience Institute (PNI) became the first in the nation to treat a patient with recurrent glioblastoma — an aggressive form of cancer in the brain — with electronic interoperative radiation therapy during a procedure in November at Providence Saint John’s Health Center. The therapy, known as IORT, allows radiation oncologists and surgeons to work together to deliver radiation treatment to the patient during the same surgery meant to remove the tumor, and substantially accelerates the access to radiation treatment that would normally start several weeks after surgery. Read more.
Will there be a cure for cancer in our lifetime? It is hard to say, but it’s certainly a moonshot worth taking. For now, the medical community continues to make remarkable progress in the fight against cancer. “Early diagnosis and new therapies are our most useful tools in beating back the disease,” says Dr. Rajesh Behl, an oncologist with Sutter’s East Bay Medical Group. In Northern California, Sutter Health’s integrated network – home to 13 cancer centers – approaches cancer care from all sides. Here’s a closer look at how Sutter’s helping to crack the cancer code. Read more.
Tampa General Hospital has announced that surgical oncologist and physician-scientist, Dr. Timothy Nywening, and medical oncologist and physician-scientist, Dr. Alan Kerr, have joined its TGH Cancer Institute – a center dedicated to elevating cancer care with a world-class team of renowned specialists from all disciplines. Read more.
Robert Welner, Ph.D., and Rui Lu, Ph.D., both associate scientists within the University of Alabama at Birmingham’s O’Neal Comprehensive Cancer Center, have received a $3 million Mark Foundation for Cancer Research 2022 Endeavor Award to study the interplay of inflammation and clonal expansion in leukemia. Read more.
Rachna T. Shroff, MD, associate professor of medicine and associate dean of clinical and translational research at the University of Arizona College of Medicine – Tucson, chief of the Section of Gastrointestinal (GI) Medical Oncology, and leader of the UArizona Cancer Center GI Clinical Research Team, has been elected to the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) Nominating Committee. Members of this committee are responsible for developing a slate of candidates for elected ASCO positions. Read more.
Researchers at the University of California San Diego Health are the first in the county to employ high-intensity, focused ultrasound as a minimally invasive prostate cancer treatment, the system said Feb. 24. High-intensity focused ultrasound is a minimally invasive outpatient treatment for localized prostate cancer that serves as an alternative to surgery or radiation treatments. The technology uses high-frequency sound waves directed at the cancerous tissue through an ultrasound probe inserted into the rectum. The sound waves target and heat the tissue to a temperature high enough to induce cell death.
Roy A. Jensen, MD, vice chancellor and director of The University of Kansas Cancer Center, was awarded the Kansas Masonic Foundation Lifetime Achievement Award. This prestigious award has been given to only three other individuals throughout the Kansas Masonic Foundation’s 50-year history. Kansas Masonic Foundation (KMF) leaders presented the award at their annual Donor Appreciation Dinner in Topeka. KMF President Robert Nelson also announced that the event raised over $150,000 in support of the Foundation’s pledge to purchase a new mobile cancer screening van for the cancer center and its outreach network, the Masonic Cancer Alliance (MCA). Read more.
In this “UK at the Half,” Mark Evers, M.D., director of the University of Kentucky Markey Cancer Center, talks about the growth of Markey and plans for a new cancer care facility that was recently kickstarted by a $10 million philanthropic gift from Central Bank. Read more.
Clinical trials of precision medicine targeted therapies have lengthened the lives of patients with advanced cancers. Estelamari Rodríguez, MD, MPH, a thoracic oncologist at Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center and associate director of Community Outreach, explains the goals and achievements of these advancements and clinical trials of personalized therapies. Read more.
Penn Medicine Awarded $12.3M NIH Grant to Study Ultra-Fast, High-Dose FLASH Radiation Therapy for Cancer
With more than $12 million in new funding from the National Institutes of Health (NIH), the Abramson Cancer Center at the University of Pennsylvania will build on its preclinical research of an emerging form of radiation that provides ultra-fast doses—of under a second, compared to several minutes with conventional radiation—and shows promise of greater protection of normal tissue, thereby minimizing toxic effects to the body. Read more.
Leading Cancer Researcher with National Surgical Adjuvant Breast and Bowel Project Joins UPMC Hillman Cancer Center
USA Health is expanding its oncology care team with the addition of Ahmed Abdalla, M.D., a medical oncologist who will see patients at the USA Health Mitchell Cancer Institute, the region’s only academic cancer research and treatment center. Abdalla, who also will serve as an assistant professor of interdisciplinary clinical oncology at the MCI, has a special interest in gastrointestinal malignancies and phase 1 clinical trials. He recently completed a fellowship in hematology and medical oncology at Ascension St. John Hospital/Van Elslander Cancer Center in Grosse Pointe Woods, Michigan. Abdalla also underwent six months of training in investigational drug development at the University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio. Read more.
New Data Suggests Entinostat Decreases Immune Suppression and Promotes Antitumor Responses against HER2+ Breast Tumors
Therapeutic combinations to alter the immunosuppressive, solid tumor microenvironment (TME), such as in breast cancer, are essential to improve responses to immune checkpoint inhibitors (ICIs), a new form of cancer immunotherapy. Entinostat, an oral histone deacetylase inhibitor, has been shown to improve responses to ICIs in various tumor models with an immunosuppressive TME. However, the precise alterations to the TME induced by entinostat remained unknown. Now, a new study published in Cancer Immunology Research suggests that entinostat induced changes to multiple myeloid cell types, reduced immunosuppression, increased antitumor immune responses, and improved sensitivity to ICIs. Read more.
Mays Cancer Center researcher and SignalRx earn NCI business grants to develop drugs for first-in-human clinical trials
An internationally recognized physician-scientist of Mays Cancer Center at UT Health San Antonio, together with SignalRx Pharmaceuticals Inc., have secured two National Cancer Institute business grants to further develop drugs on a pathway to first-in-human cancer clinical trials. The clinical translational researcher, Daruka Mahadevan, MD, PhD, division chief of hematology and medical oncology at UT Health San Antonio and Mays Cancer Center, says the drugs simultaneously disrupt two or three molecular targets that are involved in the growth, survival and progression of cancer. In contrast, most cancer drugs are developed to disrupt just one cancer target at a time. Read more.
UT Southwestern Launches SPORE-funded National Resource to Advance Precision Medicine for Kidney Cancer
Funded by a Specialized Program of Research Excellence (SPORE) award from the National Cancer Institute (NCI), the Kidney Cancer Program (KCP) at UT Southwestern’s Harold C. Simmons Comprehensive Cancer Center reports the largest and most diverse catalog of kidney cancer tumor models to date.
Kidney cancer is the eighth most frequently diagnosed cancer in the U.S. Despite the development of new drugs to treat kidney cancer, it remains largely incurable when metastatic. Most Food and Drug Administration-approved drugs were developed to treat clear cell renal cell carcinoma, the most common form of kidney cancer, but there are more than a dozen other types. Drug development for less frequent types has been limited by a lack of animal models suitable for preclinical studies. Read more.
The outpatient clinics at Huntsman Cancer Institute (HCI) at the University of Utah (U of U) have earned the Press Ganey Pinnacle of Excellence Award. The award recognizes health care facilities who have maintained consistently high levels of excellence over three years in patient experience, employee engagement, physician engagement, or clinical quality performance. Read more.
Among the many studies that counted on the participation of VHIO researchers and clinical investigators at VHIO as first and/or co-authors were several clinical trials developed by the SOLTI academic Breast Cancer Research Group.
Co-led by VHIO’s Cristina Saura, Principal Investigator of our Breast Cancer Group and Mafalda Oliveira, a Clinical Investigator and Medical Oncologist of the same group, first results from the SOLTI-1507 IPATHER study of the safety and efficacy of combining ipatasertib, a potent AKT inhibitor, with trastuzumab with pertuzumab in patients with HER2+ PIK3CA-mutated breast cancer were presented and discussed during Poster Session 1 (Track: Advanced Disease Treatment: Advanced Therapy, Targeted – P1-18-34). Read more.
Virginia Cancer Specialists Participating in National Pilot Project to Increase Diversity in Cancer Treatment Trials
Virginia Cancer Specialists was invited to participate in a national Pilot Project being conducted by the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) and the Association of Community Cancer Centers (ACCC). The pilot project is testing a research site self-assessment tool and an implicit bias training program focused on increasing racial and ethnic diversity among cancer treatment trial participants.
The joint ASCO-ACCC initiative was designed to identify and implement novel strategies and practical solutions to increase cancer treatment trial participation among patients from racial and ethnic minority communities, which continue to be under-represented in cancer research when compared with their percentages in the overall population of patients with cancer. Read more.
Nine research members of Siteman Cancer Center were named to Clarivate’s Highly Cited Researchers list of 2021. The nine, who are faculty members of Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis, demonstrate significant research influence among their peers, according to Clarivate, a scientific and academic research analytics company. Those named to the international list produced multiple papers that ranked in the top 1% by citations for their field and year of publication. Read more.
Asfar Azmi, Ph.D. Receives 2021 Kales Award for Breakthrough in Pancreatic Ductal Adenocarcinoma Treatment
Asfar Azmi, Ph.D., associate professor, Department of Oncology at the Barbara Ann Karmanos Cancer Institute and Wayne State University School of Medicine, has been selected as the winner of the 2021 Anthony and Joyce Danielski Kales Endowed Faculty Award for Innovative Cancer Researcher for his research on Selinexor with Gemcitabine and Nab-Paclitaxel for the treatment of pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma. Read more.
A new protein variant underlies the ability of gastric cancers to resist an otherwise effective family of chemotherapy drugs, according to a study by a multidisciplinary team at Weill Cornell Medicine. The results suggest a treatment strategy that could improve the prognoses of many patients with cancer.
The study, published Oct. 20 in Developmental Cell, and led by co-first authors, Drs. Prashant Thakkar and Katsuhiro Kita, former postdocs at Weill Cornell Medicine, combined clinical insight, laboratory experiments and sophisticated computational analysis to determine how some tumor cells resist a family of chemotherapy drugs called taxanes. Taxane treatment works by interfering with proteins that make up the cell’s internal skeleton, but the variant protein, called CLIP-170S, allows cancer cells to dodge that interference. Read more.
In the past, doctors would treat tumors with chemotherapy, but they couldn’t avoid hitting healthy cells, too. Today cancer treatments have grown more accurate, and scientists at West Virginia University are working to level-up their accuracy even more.
Mark McLaughlin—a researcher with the WVU Cancer Institute and Modulation Therapeutics Inc.—and his colleagues are developing a cancer treatment that zeroes in on the diseased cells with more precision. Based on extensive preclinical research, they have received approval from the Food and Drug Administration to begin human trials of a new drug to treat eye-cancer. The team designed the drug—called MTI-201—to treat uveal melanoma after the cancer has traveled to another part of the body. Read more.