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					                                      NCI Cancer Bulletin                               Eliminating the Suffering and Death Due to Cancer



                                                               CCSG Guidelines to Build on Working
February 24, 2004
Volume 1 | Number 8


In this issue:                                                 Group Recommendations
CCSG Guidelines...1
                                                               During a Feb. 18 meeting of the             Linda Weiss, chief of the NCI Cancer
Director’s Update...1
   Molecular Epidemiology                                      National Cancer Advisory Board’s            Centers Branch, gave the report.
                                                               (NCAB’s) Subcommittee on Cancer             As recommended, several operational
Cancer Research Highlights...3
   Recombinant Toxic Antibody
                                                               Centers, National Cancer Institute          changes are in the works to increase
    Shows Promise against Cancers                              (NCI) officials presented a status            center leaders’ involvement in strate-
   Gene May Prove Significant                                   report on Cancer Center Support             gic planning. The working group also
    Target for Treating Multiple                               Grant (CCSG) issues, including draft
    Myeloma                                                                                                recommended that cancer centers be
                                                               revisions to the CCSG guidelines. The       used for piloting new research and dis-
   Regular Aspirin Use May
    Lower Hodgkin’s Risk                                       report follows recommendations for          semination programs, something that
Legislative Update...4                                         improving the award mechanisms              Dr. Antman stressed is already un-
   Congressional Briefing on the                                that fund NCI-designated cancer             derway. More than 50 cancer centers,
    NCI SEER Program                                           centers (P30 grants) and Specialized        for example, are participating in the
   Medicare Prescription Drug,                                 Programs of Research Excellence, or
    Improvement, and Modern-                                                                               development of the cancer Biomedical
    ization Act of 2003                                        SPOREs, (P50 grants) developed by a         Informatics Grid (caBIG) initiative, and
   Intellectual Property Protection                            subcommittee ad hoc working group.          many others have received U54 awards
    and Collaborative Research                                 Dr. Karen Antman, on an intergov-           to form partnerships with institutions
Special Report...5                                             ernmental personnel appointment to          that serve a large minority population.
   Integrative Cancer Biology                                  assist NCI in implementing the work-        In 2003, nearly $21 million in awards
    Program: Tackling Cancer’s                                 ing group’s recommendations, and Dr.
    Complexity                                                                                             (continued on page 2)

Featured Clinical Trial...6
Notes...7
   Berg Joins Division of Cancer                               Molecular Epidemiology: A Time for Strategic Partnerships
                                      D ire ctor ’s Up d ate




    Prevention
   von Eschenbach Updates NCAB                                 Epidemiology has been depicted as a          ate knowledge about the genetic
   NCI Launches caBIG                                          scientific approach that moves slowly, and environmental components of
   Aziz Honored for Advancing                                  but with great force.                                           cancer induction and
    Survivorship Research                                      However, by incorporat-                                         progression, it will
Featured Meetings...8                                          ing the powerful new                                            also help identify new
                                                               tools being generated                                           preventive, diagnos-
                                                               by recent advances in                                           tic, and therapeutic
                                                               genomics and molecular                                          interventions.
                                                               sciences, epidemiology                                          An integral feature of
                                                               has an unparalleled op-                                         this initiative is the
                                                               portunity to move more                                          planning and devel-
                                                               quickly and with greater                                        opment of strategic
                                                               force than ever. To foster Dr. Joseph F. Fraumeni, Jr.          partnerships that link
A Publication of the                                                                        Director, NCI Division of Cancer
National Cancer Institute
                                                               this approach, NCI has                                          epidemiologists with
                                                                                            Epidemiology and Genetics
U.S. DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH                                      designated “molecular                                           one another and with
AND HUMAN SERVICES
National Institutes of Health
                                                               epidemiology” as a strategic prior-          genomicists and other investigators
                                                               ity area to meet the director’s 2015         (continued on page 2)
http://cancer.gov                                              challenge goal. Poised to acceler-
                                                                                                                              1 | NCI Cancer Bulletin
(CCSG Guidelines continued from page 1)       (Director’s Update continued from page 1)   provides an integrative framework for
were made to cancer centers for inno-         from the clinical, basic, and population    nested case-control studies of specific
vative programs like these, she said.         sciences. This transdisciplinary            cancers arising within the cohorts to
A number of noteworthy changes to             team-based approach responds to a           systematically evaluate molecular and
the CCSG guidelines are under consid-         growing consensus in the scientific          biochemical biomarkers of suscepti-
eration. As recommended by the work-          community that the full potential of        bility and early-stage disease.
ing group, NCI intends to revise the          genomic and other emerging technol-         On Feb. 10-11, members of the
guidelines to allow P30 funding for staff      ogies will require large-scale epide-       consortium met at NIH to discuss
salary support for clinical investigators     miologic studies.                           progress and future directions. A
who actively engage in clinical trials.       The study designs should have the           status report was given for an initial
Several options also are under consid-        efficiencies and power to identify            study conducted among 600,000 in-
eration for creating new categories to        common low-penetrant susceptibil-           dividuals in 10 cohorts that have the
provide better geographic distribution        ity genes and their interactions with       largest number of cancer cases. This
of cancer centers, such as allowing two       exogenous or endogenous exposures           study is focusing on the risk of breast
facilities that alone could not qualify for   gleaned from questionnaires and             cancer (7,000 cases) and prostate
a P30 award to form an affiliation and          biospecimen collections. This can           cancer (9,000 cases) associated with
jointly receive an award. The possibility     be accomplished through consortia           variations in hormone- and growth
of existing cancer centers developing         that combine the resources of several       factor-related genes, as well as their
formal affiliations with non-P30 institu-       cohort and/or case-control studies in       interactions with risk factor data and
tions, particularly those in underserved      a coordinated approach that enables         circulating levels of hormones and
areas, is also being considered.              rapid replication of positive findings       growth factors. The meeting also pro-
“We’re already being consulted regard-        using independent datasets. This            vided an opportunity to discuss new
ing models that are similar...” to the        strategy avoids the cumbersome and          high-throughput genotyping technol-
latter option, Dr. Weiss said. “We’re         expensive trial-and-error process that      ogies that can be used for candidate
trying to establish criteria for those        now occurs when false-positive find-         gene approaches and genome-wide
kinds of affiliations to assist in review.”     ings from individual studies appear         searches as well as linkage-based
Both of these options are still evolving      in the literature. When reproducible        studies. This discussion was informed
and will continue to be refined over           findings emerge in the consortia,            by a presentation by Dr. Francis Col-
the coming months, she added.                 pooling of datasets provides the            lins, director of the Human Genome
                                              statistical power to quantify the risks     Research Institute, on the status of
Another significant change recommended
                                              associated with specific gene variants       the International HapMap Project,
by the working group is eliminating
                                              and exposures and to enable subset          which holds promise as a research
site visits as part of the P30 application
                                              analyses that uncover gene-gene and         tool for future studies in genetic and
review. Such a revision would eliminate
                                              gene-environment interactions.              molecular epidemiology.
the need for site visits for some estab-
lished centers, but it would also present     One such unique partnership is the          Other types of strategic partnerships
some challenges, NCI staff said, includ-       Consortium of Cohorts, an interna-          are under development, including
ing the need for careful and complete         tional collaboration of intramural          case-control consortia that involve
cancer center award applications and          and extramural investigators respon-        investigators responsible for popula-
longer parent committee meetings.             sible for 23 independently funded           tion- or hospital-based case-control
                                              population cohorts encompassing 1.2         studies, with special attention to the
All of these revisions will continue to
                                              million individuals. Each cohort has        less common cancers that cannot be
be vetted internally at NCI and are
                                              extensive information on known or           easily evaluated in cohort studies. In-
tentatively scheduled for review at the
                                              suspected risk factors as well as bio-      tramural and extramural investigators
next NCAB meeting. Implementation
                                              specimens (including germline DNA)          have already joined forces in a coordi-
of the P30/P50 working group’s recom-
                                              collected prior to diagnosis of can-        nated series of ongoing case-control
mendations on the SPORE guidelines
                                              cer, and each has (or will soon have)       studies focused on non-Hodgkin’s
will follow the CCSG revisions by a few
                                              thousands of individuals who have           lymphoma and on brain tumors. In
months. The full report and recommen-
                                              developed cancer. Through a joint           addition, a number of scientists inter-
dations are available at http://deainfo.
                                              planning process, this consortium           ested in familial cancer have formed
nci.nih.gov/advisory/ncab/p30-p50/. d
                                                                                          (continued on page 4)

2 | NCI Cancer Bulletin
                                                                                      tion of an adhesion protein that helps
                                                                                      myeloma cells interact with normal
                Cancer Research                                                       cells in the bone marrow, known
                                                                                      as stromal cells. Myeloma cells rely

                Highlights                                                            heavily on signals from stromal cells
                                                                                      to proliferate and survive. Perhaps
                                                                                      most important was the finding that
                                                                                      in immunodeficient mice, inhibiting
Recombinant Toxic An-                       been useful in predicting human tox-
                                                                                      c-maf actually prevented myeloma cell
tibody Shows Promise                        icities. Based on these experiments,
                                                                                      progression and tumor development.
against Cancers                             Dr. Onda indicated that the RIT “has
In the Feb. 15 issue of Cancer Research,    low toxicity for liver and is worthy of   “Our results indicate that overpro-
NCI researchers Dr. Masanori Onda,          further clinical development.”            duction of c-maf is one of the most
                                                                                      common abnormal events associated
Dr. Ira Pastan, and colleagues report       Gene May Prove Signifi-                    with myeloma,” said Dr. Staudt. “Fur-
the anticancer activity of their recom-     cant Target for Treating                  ther, our finding that inhibition of
binant immunotoxin (RIT) against            Multiple Myeloma                          c-maf blocks myeloma proliferation
human breast cancer, osteosarcoma,          A gene that is known to promote
and neuroblastoma cell lines. This                                                    and tumor formation makes c-maf an
                                            cancer appears to play a very im-         intriguing and exciting novel target
work was done in collaboration with         portant role in the development of
Dr. Nai-Kong Cheung at Memorial                                                       for future therapies.”
                                            multiple myelomas and may prove
Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center who           to be a fruitful target for therapies     Regular Aspirin Use May
isolated the original antibody. A RIT       aimed at treating these blood cancers,    Lower Hodgkin’s Risk
is a fragment of a genetically altered      according to a study published in the     Researchers at the Harvard School of
monoclonal antibody that is fused           February 2004 Cancer Cell. Multiple       Public Health, Yale University School
to a toxin. These compounds hold            myeloma is the second most preva-         of Medicine, and the Johns Hopkins
potential as anticancer therapeutics        lent blood cancer after non-Hodgkin’s     Medical Institutions have found indi-
because they combine the specific            lymphoma, representing approxi-           cations that regular aspirin use may
targeting of an antibody with the cy-       mately 1 percent of all cancers and 2     protect against Hodgkin’s lymphoma
totoxic effects of a plant or bacterial      percent of all cancer deaths.             by inhibiting a transcription factor
toxin. Dr. Pastan’s group has previ-                                                  that is necessary for immune function
ously completed phase I clinical trials     Studies have established that abnor-
                                            mal forms of the gene implicated in       and the survival of Hodgkin’s lym-
for two other RITs in patients with                                                   phoma cells.
leukemia, Hodgkin’s disease, and lym-       the study, c-maf, are present in ap-
                                            proximately 5-10 percent of patients      In the population-based, case-con-
phoma. Very high complete response
                                            with multiple myeloma. However,           trol study—published in the Feb. 18
rates were observed in drug resistant
                                            in the Cancer Cell study, led by Dr.      issue of the Journal of the National
hairy cell leukemia with RIT BL22.
                                            Louis M. Staudt of the Metabolism         Cancer Institute—regular aspirin
The new RIT, called 8H9(Fv)-PE38,
                                            Branch in the NCI Center for Cancer       use was associated with a 40 percent
uses the same toxin as these two pre-
                                            Research, researchers were surprised      reduced risk of Hodgkin’s lymphoma,
vious molecules in conjunction with
                                            to find that the normal form of c-maf      as compared with nonregular aspirin
a different specific antibody. Not only
                                            was present in more than 50 percent       use. The association was consistent
did this RIT show anticancer activity
                                            of the multiple myeloma cell lines        across subgroups of age, sex, race, re-
in cell lines, but it also demonstrated
                                            and in exactly 50 percent of the bone     ligion, smoking history, and analgesic
specific antitumor activity in mouse
                                            marrow samples they analyzed.             use. Unlike aspirin, the use of other
xenograft models for human breast
                                            Based on these findings, the research      nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs
cancer and osteosarcoma.
                                            team attempted to delineate what role     (NSAIDS), such as ibuprofen, was
The researchers slightly modified                                                      not statistically significantly associ-
8H9(Fv)-PE38 in order to increase its       c-maf may play in myeloma progres-
                                            sion, including tumor growth. In both     ated with Hodgkin’s lymphoma risk.
stability and yield as well as to make it                                             However, regular acetaminophen use,
a better drug candidate. This new RIT       laboratory tests and mice, c-maf was
                                            vital to myeloma cell proliferation. In   compared with nonregular use, was
was tested for toxicity in monkeys,                                                   (continued on page 4)
since mouse studies have not always         addition, c-maf increased the produc-
                                                                                                         3 | NCI Cancer Bulletin
(Cancer Highlights continued from page 3)
associated with a consistently higher
risk of Hodgkin’s lymphoma.
The research team, led by Dr. Ellen
                                                          Legislative Update
Chang at the Harvard School of
Public Health (now with the Karolin-
ska Institute in Sweden), concluded
that the findings “may indicate that         Congressional Briefing on                 a loan program to provide loans to
properties exclusive to aspirin are         the NCI SEER Program                     qualifying hospitals for construction
responsible for its relationship with                                                and improvement of infrastructure.
                                            At the request of Senator Edward M.
Hodgkin’s lymphoma,” particularly as-                                                Qualifying hospitals are engaged in
                                            Kennedy’s (D-Mass.) office, on behalf
pirin’s ability to inhibit the transcrip-                                            research on the causes, prevention,
                                            of the Senate Committee on Health,
tion factor NF-κB. The study should                                                  and treatment of cancer and are NCI-
                                            Education, Labor, and Pensions, a
be interpreted with caution, the                                                     designated cancer centers, or are
                                            congressional briefing was held on
researchers noted, because of limita-                                                designated as a state’s official cancer
                                            Feb. 11, 2004, to inform minority
tions such as the fact that patients                                                 center. Funds may be used to improve
                                            staff about NCI’s Surveillance, Epi-
were only questioned about the last                                                  the health care infrastructure of the
                                            demiology, and End Results (SEER)
five years of medication use and an                                                   hospital, including construction, reno-
                                            Program. Drs. Brenda Edwards, Jon
“insufficient power for detailed dose-                                                 vation, or other capital improvements.
                                            Kerner, Ben Hankey, and Martin
response analyses.” d                                                                Funding for this program authorizes
                                            Brown from NCI’s Division of Cancer
                                            Control and Population Sciences          appropriations of $200 million to be
(Director’s Update continued from page 2)   explained the types of data collected    available from Jul. 1, 2004 through
an international family-based consortia.    by SEER, how the data are used, and      Sept. 30, 2008.
Current emphasis is placed on those         the extreme care given to collecting     Intellectual Property
familial syndromes where high-pen-          quality data elements—all of which       Protection and
etrant genes have eluded discovery, or      make the program a unique resource       Collaborative Research
where opportunities exist to identify       for analysis and prediction of cancer    Many research advocates are con-
genetic and environmental modifiers          information. Discussion about the        cerned that a loophole in intellectual
of inherited risk. The most recent          ongoing collaborative interaction        property law will discourage col-
intramural/extramural partnership of        between SEER and the Centers for         laboration among institutions, both
this kind centers on studies of familial    Disease Control and Prevention Reg-      public and private. However, a bill
chronic lymphocytic leukemia.               istry and the high-profile initiatives    gaining momentum in Congress may
There are many complex scientific,           undertaken jointly in the last five       close the loophole. The Cooperative
administrative, and cultural challenges     years helped clarify how the two         Research and Technology Enhance-
involved in developing these team-          organizations interact and continue      ment (CREATE) Act of 2003 (HR
based transdisciplinary partnerships,       to improve the data-collection system.   2391) cleared the House Judiciary
which seemingly run counter to the          Also discussed were the high level of    Committee on Jan. 21 and appears to
traditional model of individual inves-      sophistication and skill required for    be headed to the floor with bipartisan
tigators or groups that work indepen-       SEER data collection and analysis,       support. The loophole arises from a
dently. However, the two strategies are     and the need to focus on building        1997 federal circuit court decision
really complementary and synergis-          SEER’s work force capacity.              allowing a third party to challenge the
tic, speeding the discovery of causal       Medicare Prescription                    validity of a patent achieved through
agents and pathways, early detection        Drug, Improvement, and                   collaboration. CREATE is intended
markers, and interventions designed         Modernization Act of 2003                to promote communication among
to prevent and control cancer. d                                                     researchers at multiple organizations,
                                            This Medicare reform act became
Guest Editorial                             law (Public Law 108-173) on Dec. 8,      discourage those who would use the
Dr. Joseph F. Fraumeni, Jr.                 2003 and implementation plans are        discovery process to harass co-inven-
Director, NCI Division of Cancer            under way. A provision of the act,       tors voluntarily collaborating on re-
Epidemiology and Genetics                   under the Health Care Infrastructure     search, and accelerate the commercial
                                            Improvement Program, establishes         availability of new inventions. d
4 | NCI Cancer Bulletin
                                                                                       the availability of large-scale data sets
                                                                                       and appropriate mathematical ap-
                Special Report                                                         proaches for manipulating the data.”
                                                                                       But over the past few years, things
                                                                                       have changed. Large-scale data sets
                                                                                       are now available, and the mathemat-
                                                                                       ics exists to construct multivariate,
                                                                                       scalable models of complex systems
Integrative Cancer Biology Program:                                                    that are dynamic and predictive.
Tackling Cancer’s Complexity                                                           “The challenge is to derive knowledge
                                                                                       and understanding from them,” Dr.
In mid-January, a fierce snowstorm            goal of developing predictive com-        Gallahan stresses. Computer-based
crippled much of the greater Wash-           putational models of various cancer       modeling is used in areas such as
ington, D.C. area—closing schools            processes that can be applied to the      mechanical and electrical engineering
and businesses and forcing the federal       development of cancer interventions.      to design and test a variety of complex
government and most county gov-              “We now appreciate that cancer is a       systems, such as printed microcircuits,
ernments to advise their employees           disease of genes and we understand        jet planes, and cars. The advances
to stay home. Nevertheless, more             the regulation and function of a huge     in mathematics, engineering, and
than 70 investigators from across the        number of these genes and their           technology make it possible to begin
United States managed to find their           protein products,” she continues.         developing simulations of cells and
way to NCI for an informational              “In many cases, we have a detailed        organs in individuals with and without
meeting about its new Integrative            understanding of how proteins inter-      cancer. The vision for the future, he
Cancer Biology Program (ICBP) and            act, both structurally and functionally   says, is the development of individual-
the opportunities for research that it       in regulatory, signaling, and meta-       ized computer models that will help to
may present.                                 bolic pathways. What we are lacking       predict, prevent, and treat cancers.
“The interest in this program bodes          is a systematic approach to integrate     Collaboration a Must
well for its future,” says Dr. Dinah         various kinds of data and processes       Collaboration among a broad ar-
Singer, director of the NCI Division of      into a comprehensive model where          ray of scientists clearly is vital to the
Cancer Biology. The goal of the ICBP         we can analyze the complex biologi-       success of the ICBP. “Through ICBP,
is to promote the analysis of cancer as      cal systems that are cancer.”             research programs will be established
a complex biological system. Building        Modeling Complexity                       that bring together cancer biologists
on the expanding cache of knowledge          Integrative cancer biology is a subset    and scientists from fields such as
about cells’ “parts,” or their constituent   of another burgeoning field, systems       mathematics, physics, information
components, explains Dr. Singer, initia-     biology. Both are addressing ques-        technology, imaging sciences, and
tives launched through ICBP will focus       tions of complexity—honing in on          computer science to work on a com-
on concepts and methods that target          the structural and functional rela-       mon cancer biology program,” says
the “whole”—biological systems and           tionships among components of             Dr. Jennifer Couch, SBMAB program
their integrated behavior. Doing so will     biological processes and attempting       director. “These programs will tackle
require an increasing interdependence        to quantify their interactions and        a diverse array of issues, from gene
among cancer biologists, scientists          measure how they change over time         expression to metabolic and signaling
from other fields that consider com-          in response to various stimuli, such as   networks to more temporal processes
plex systems, and scientists with exper-     environmental or genetic influences.       like cancer initiation, progression,
tise in computational biology, because                                                 and metastasis.”
the success of integrative biology will      “The recognition that cancer is a
                                             complex disease is not a new one,”        Through the ICBP initiative, large,
rely heavily on developing robust com-
                                             says Dr. Dan Gallahan, associate          NCI-funded, multi-investigator
puter models of biological systems.
                                             director and chief of the division’s      teams will address questions of can-
“One of the major aims of the ICBP,”         Structural Biology and Molecular          cer complexity with a wide scope of
Dr. Singer says, “is to facilitate the       Applications Branch (SBMAB). “But         research activities, Dr. Couch
emergence of integrative cancer biolo-       until now, our ability to analyze this    (continued on page 6)
gy as a distinct field, with the ultimate     complexity has been limited both by
                                                                                                          5 | NCI Cancer Bulletin
(Special Report continued from page 5)
explains. These programs will go be-
yond research, though. They also will
be responsible for establishing train-
                                                          Featured Clinical Trial
ing and outreach programs that will
further develop the field by actively
disseminating new findings about
cancer complexity and educating
future investigators in the necessary     Study of Kidney Cancer                       “This study continues NCI’s work to
approaches and skills. Although the       Genetics in Ashkenazi                        discover genes that may contribute
programs will operate independently,      Jewish Families                              to the development of kidney can-
                                          Name of the Trial                            cer,” said Dr. Zbar. “Subsequently, we
they will be linked through a central
                                          Genetic Study of Patients with Inher-        hope to develop a diagnostic test that
focus on cancer, a common bioinfor-
                                          ited Urologic Malignancies (NCI-89-          would identify people at greater risk
matics infrastructure, and an NCI-
                                          C-0086). See the protocol summary            for developing the disease so that
sponsored coordinating committee.
                                          at http://cancer.gov/clinicaltrials/         preventive measures can be taken or
“We hope to create a community of                                                                  the disease can be treated
                                          NCI-89-C-0086.
interactive and collaborative cancer                                                               before it has had a chance
biology researchers that extends          Investigators
                                                                                                   to metastasize.”
beyond the scope of the funded pro-       Dr. W. Marston Linehan,
                                          principal investigator,                                  Who Can Join This Trial?
grams,” Dr. Couch says. “A key aspect
                                          and Dr. Berton Zbar,                                     This trial currently seeks to
of the program will be the accessibili-
                                          associate investigator of                                recruit 50-100 Ashkenazi
ty of the data and models to the larger
                                          NCI’s Center for Cancer                                  Jewish families with two
research community.”
                                          Research                                                 or more family members
The success of the January meeting,                                                                affected by kidney cancer.
Dr. Singer says, clearly indicates that   Why Is This Trial
                                                                                                   See the full list of eligibil-
there is a sincere and eager interest     Important?
                                                                                                   ity criteria for this trial at
in ICBP and systems biology in the        Approximately 32,000           Dr. Berton Zbar           http://cancer.gov/clinical-
research community.                       people each year in the        Associate Investigator
                                                                                                   trials/NCI-89-C-0086.
                                          U.S. are diagnosed with
“The emergence of integrative cancer      kidney cancer. While a number of            Where Is This Trial Taking Place?
biology as a field will be instrumental    risk factors have been associated with The study is taking place at the
in fostering the growth of predic-        kidney cancer, such as smoking, obe- National Institutes of Health (NIH)
tive and preventive medicine,” she        sity, and high blood pressure, previ-       Warren G. Magnuson Clinical Center
says. “As we continue to expand our       ous studies suggest that genes may          in Bethesda, MD.
knowledge about basic and clinical        also play a strong role in determining Who to Contact
cancer biological processes, the area     who will develop this disease.              For more information, contact Shyla
of integrative cancer biology will
                                          In this study, researchers will ana-        Hale, study coordinator, at 1-800-
serve to synthesize this information
                                          lyze blood and tissue samples from          949-6704 or hales@mail.ncifcrf.gov.
into a comprehensive picture of can-
cer, paving the way for rational ap-      persons with suspected or confirmed The call is toll-free and completely
                                          inherited kidney cancer. Researchers        confidential. d
proaches to dealing with this disease.”
                                          are especially interested in enrolling
For further information, please see       Ashkenazi Jews from families that           You may see this and previously pub-
RFA CA-04-013, Integrative Cancer                                                     lished “Featured Clinical Trial” columns
                                          have at least two members with this         at http://cancer.gov/clinicaltrials/ft-all-
Biology Program and the ICBP              disease. Due to their history, Ash-         featured-trials.
online. d                                 kenazi Jews share a similar genetic
                                          makeup. Researchers hope this simi-
                                          larity will help them find a new gene
                                          associated with kidney cancer.



6 | NCI Cancer Bulletin
  Notes
Berg Joins Division of Cancer Prevention     directors will share executive respon-     common needs ranging from clinical
Dr. Christine D. Berg has joined NCI’s       sibilities with Dr. von Eschenbach         trials management to tissue banks and
                    Division of Cancer       and interact with the NCI division di-     pathology tools. caBIG promises to ac-
                    Prevention (DCP)         rectors on various strategic initiatives   celerate progress in all aspects of cancer
                    as a senior program      and other programmatic activities.         research—from etiologic research to
                    director within the      Dr. von Eschenbach also spoke about        prevention, early detection, and treat-
                    Community Oncol-         the launch of the NCI Cancer Bulletin      ment. For more information on caBIG,
                    ogy and Prevention       and the redesign of cancer.gov, both       please visit http://caBIG.nci.nih.gov.
                    Trials Research          important communication vehicles           Aziz Honored for Advancing
Group. In this position, she coordinates     for the institute. He addressed issues     Survivorship Research
clinical research at leading Community       regarding NCI’s budget and funding         Dr. Noreen M. Aziz, program
Clinical Oncology Program (CCOP)             of new strategic initiatives such as the                     director, Office of
sites across the United States. CCOPs        cancer biomedical informatics grid                           Cancer Survivor-
work to improve cancer treatment,            (caBIG), and also gave updates on                            ship, NCI Division
ameliorate treatment toxicities, and         several meetings including the NCI                           of Cancer Control
develop cancer prevention strategies.        intramural principal investigators                           and Population Sci-
Dr. Berg also will chair the DCP Cancer      retreat, the joint board retreat, and                        ences, has received
Prevention and Control Concept Re-           the upcoming cancer center directors’                        the Professor of
view Group and will be exploring novel       retreat. Dr. von Eschenbach also           Survivorship Award from the Susan
and innovative strategies for stream-        recognized the exemplary contribu-         G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation.
lining the clinical trials process.          tions to NCI and the National Cancer       This annual award is granted to lead-
Previously, Dr. Berg served as the first      Program of several outgoing NCAB           ing researchers and educators whose
and only full-time medical director of       members: Mr. Stephen Duffy, Dr. Elmer       work furthers the understanding of
the Suburban Hospital Cancer Program         Huerta, Dr. Susan Love, Dr. Larry          the complex issues related to surviving
in Bethesda Md., where she coordinated       Norton, and Dr. Amelie Ramirez.            breast cancer. Awardees are appointed
the opening of a dedicated outpatient fa-                                               for a one-year period and receive a
                                             NCI Launches caBIG
cility and developed the clinical research                                              grant to advance their research work.
                                             On Feb. 19, NCI launched the cancer
program. Before joining Suburban Hos-        Biomedical Informatics Grid (caBIG),       Dr. Aziz was recognized for initiating
pital she served as chief of the Lung and    an informatics infrastructure that will    and promoting NCI’s research priori-
Upper Aerodigestive Cancer Research          link the teams of cancer researchers       ties and efforts related to cancer survi-
Group, also in DCP. Dr. Berg also has        and enable them to better share data       vorship and follow-up care. Recently,
served in leadership positions at the        and tools, according to agreed upon        she coordinated a request for propos-
Lombardi Cancer Center, Georgetown           standards. Several hundred informat-       als for an initiative on the concerns of
University Medical Center.                   ics experts and cancer researchers         long-term survivors, many of whom
von Eschenbach Updates NCAB                  representing cancer centers, academia,     are breast cancer survivors. Dr. Aziz
On Feb. 18, NCI Director Dr. Andrew          government, and private industry met       has authored several peer-reviewed
von Eschenbach presented his direc-          for the first time to discuss the design    papers outlining cancer survivorship
tor’s update at the National Cancer          and implementation of this large-scale     as a challenge and opportunity and
Advisory Board meeting. Dr. von              bioinformatics engineering project that    has organized two international con-
Eschenbach began his talk by describ-        has become a top NCI priority. Super-      ferences on post-treatment follow-up
ing four new deputy director positions       vised and managed by NCI, caBIG is         care of cancer survivors. She cur-
established in the Office of the Director.     a voluntary and open source program        rently oversees more than 60 ongoing
These four deputies will have duties         that will eventually link individual       research studies and also pursues her
and responsibilities for overseeing          researchers and institutions, effectively   personal research on cancer survivor-
NCI’s initiatives that collectively          creating the World Wide Web of can-        ship issues and the prognostic role
span the discovery, development,             cer research. caBIG has been designed      of weight gain on breast and other
and delivery continuum of the cancer         and built in partnership with NCI-         hormonally dependent cancers. d
research program. The new deputy             designated cancer centers to address
                                                                                                         7 | NCI Cancer Bulletin
                  Featured Meetings

 This is a list of selected scientific meetings sponsored by NCI and other organizations. For locations and times
 and a more complete list of scientific meetings, including NCI’s weekly seminars and presentations open to the
 public, see the NCI Calendar of Scientific Meetings at http://calendar.cancer.gov.
 NCI Advisory Committee Upcoming Meetings, March 2004
 Date         Advisory Committee
 Mar 15-16    Clinical Sciences and Epidemiology—Subcommittee 1, Board of Scientific Counselors, NCI
 Mar 15-16    Basic Sciences—Subcommittee 2, Board of Scientific Counselors, NCI
 Mar 15-16    NCI Board of Scientific Advisors
 Selected Upcoming Meetings of Interest
 Date         Meeting                                                       NCI Speakers
 Feb 25-26    Central Florida Health Care Coalition’s 11th                  Dr. Ellen Feigal, Acting Director, Division of Cancer
              Annual National Conference                                    Treatment and Diagnosis
 Feb 26-28        The Last Miles of the Way Home: National                  Dr. Harold P. Freeman, Director, Center to Reduce
                  Conference to Improve End-of-Life Care for                Cancer Health Disparities
                  African Americans
 Feb 27-          25th High Country Nuclear Medicine                        Dr. Ellen Feigal, Acting Director, Division of Cancer
 Mar 3            Conference                                                Treatment and Diagnosis; Dr. Dan Sullivan,
                                                                            Associate Director, Cancer Imaging Program,
                                                                            Division of Cancer Treatment and Diagnosis
 Mar 1-2          Molecular Cancer Therapeutics: Celebrating 30             Dr. Joe B. Harford, Director, Office of International
                  Years of United States–Japan Cooperation in               Affairs; Dr. Anita Roberts, Chief, Laboratory of Cell
                  Cancer Research                                           Regulation and Carcinogenesis; Dr. Steven Rosenberg,
                                                                            Surgery Branch Chief, Center for Cancer Research
 Mar 1-3          45th Annual Clinical Conference—                          Dr. Andrew C. von Eschenbach, Director
                  Multidisciplinary Care: The Present and Future
 Mar 3            Cancer Nanotechnology Symposium—                          Dr. Anna Barker, Deputy Director, Advanced
                  Nanotechnology: Visualizing and Targeting Cancer          Technologies and Strategic Partnerships
 Mar 4            Cancer Nanotechnology Symposium—                          Dr. Anna Barker, Deputy Director, Advanced
                  Nanotechnology: Enabling Breakthroughs in                 Technologies and Strategic Partnerships
                  Cancer Early Detection and Therapeutics
 Mar 9-12         UCSF Comprehensive Cancer Center’s Cancer                 Dr. Peter Greenwald, Director, Division of Cancer
                  Prevention Seminar                                        Prevention
 Mar 17-18        Imaging in Oncology                                       Dr. Ellen Feigal, Acting Director, Division of Cancer
                                                                            Treatment and Diagnosis
 NCI Exhibits
 NCI Exhibits are presented at various professional and society meetings. Further information about the NCI Exhibits
 Program can be found at http://exhibits.cancer.gov.



This NCI Cancer Bulletin is produced by the National Cancer Institute (NCI). NCI,            For more information on cancer,
which was established in 1937, leads a national effort to eliminate the suffering and          call 1-800-4-CANCER or visit
death due to cancer. Through basic and clinical biomedical research and training, NCI        http://cancer.gov.
conducts and supports research that will lead to a future in which we can prevent            NCI Cancer Bulletin staff can be reached
cancer before it starts, identify cancers that do develop at the earliest stage, eliminate   at ncicancerbulletin@mail.nih.gov.
cancers through innovative treatment interventions, and biologically control those
cancers that we cannot eliminate so they become manageable, chronic diseases.                NIH Publication NO #04-5498

8 | NCI Cancer Bulletin

				
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