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IUSCC, Purdue host acting director of NCI; Big Ten CRC highlighted

July 16, 2017:

The Indiana University Melvin and Bren Simon Cancer Center hosted Doug Lowy, the acting director of the National Cancer Institute, for a full-day visit on June 28.

(Photo: Drs. Schneider (left) and Milan Radovich (middle) explain their work on the next generation of personalized medicine with Dr. Doug Lowy, acting director of the National Cancer Institute. Dr. Lowy visited the IU Simon Cancer Center on June 28. Photo credit: IU Simon Cancer Center)

In a series of small-group discussions in the morning, he met with cancer center members (members’ names appear in bold) and others to learn about:

  • Pediatric genomics with D. Wade Clapp, MD, and Jamie Renbarger, MD, MS
  • Breast cancer research program with Hari Nakshatri, PhD
  • Komen Tissue Bank at IU Simon Cancer Center with Anna Maria Storniolo, MD
  • Precision health with Bryan Schneider, MD, and Milan Radovich, PhD
  • Big Ten Cancer Research Consortium and the Hoosier Cancer Research Network with Bert O’Neil, MD, Cynthia Burkhardt, RN, and Chris Fausel, PharmD
  • Kenya and cancer with Patrick Loehrer, MD, Bob Einterz, MD, and Terry Vik, MD

In the afternoon, Dr. Lowy presented “NCI-supported Research: Concepts, Opportunities, and Applications” to cancer center members and others. Watch.

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Hershock appointed to Big Ten Cancer Research Consortium Steering Committee

June 7, 2017

The Big Ten Cancer Research Consortium recently welcomed Diane M. Hershock, MD, PhD, of Penn State Cancer Institute, as a member of its Steering Committee. The committee consists of one representative from each member institution and is responsible to decide matters of policy for the consortium.

Hershock is co-director for experimental therapeutics and medical director in the Clinical Trials Office at Penn State Cancer Institute. She earned her Bachelor of Science in biology from Saint Joseph’s University in Philadelphia and spent four years doing biochemistry in the thrombosis and hemostasis department at Temple University Medical School. “We were trying to develop an antibody to the GPIIb/IIIa receptor as well as to isolate/elucidate the mechanisms of action of platelet factor 4 and thrombospondin, advancing platelet research knowledge.” She knew then that she wanted to continue her studies at a graduate level. Read More

Experience with cancer a blessing in disguise for UW physician

May 31, 2017:

Dustin Deming, MD, is a gastrointestinal oncologist at the University of Wisconsin Carbone Cancer Center (UWCCC) and the William S. Middleton Veterans Hospital with subspecialties in the treatment of colon, rectal, and anal cancers.

Deming’s commitment to the field is no coincidence; his first-hand exposure to clinical oncology opened his eyes to opportunities to apply his lab science strengths. “I had thought I wanted to be a pathologist and focus mostly on basic science research, because I had kind of been a lab rat for the beginning portion of my career. Once I actually got into the clinic, I realized how exciting it was to be involved in many aspects of colorectal research: things as basic as drug discovery, or target-finding through early phase clinical trials and national phase two and phase three trials, and seeing patients in the clinic,” he said. “It has been really rewarding, because, I think, in each aspect, experience in the lab and experience in the clinic can really feed into each other.”
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Big Ten cancer researchers test continuation immunotherapy with chemotherapy in advanced NSCLC

May 26, 2017:

Lung cancer researchers at the Indiana University Melvin and Bren Simon Cancer Center have opened a clinical trial testing the effects of immunotherapy in combination with next-line chemotherapy in patients who experienced some benefit from immunotherapy before their disease worsened.

The single-arm phase II study, known as BTCRC-LUN15-029, will enroll about 35 subjects with advanced non-small cell lung cancer who were treated with a PD-1 (programmed death-1) or PD-L1 (programmed death-ligand 1) inhibitor and experienced either stable disease or a partial or complete response before their disease worsened.

The study is now open to accrual at the Indiana University Melvin and Bren Simon Cancer Center. Additional sites will open the study in the near future. Gregory A. Durm, MD, is leading the study, along with co-investigators Nasser Hanna, MD; Shadia Jalal, MD; and Lawrence Einhorn, MD. Read More

Study evaluates safety, efficacy of durvalumab in locally advanced esophageal cancer

May 26, 2017:

A Big Ten Cancer Research Consortium study is evaluating the safety and efficacy of durvalumab (MEDI4736) following multi-modality therapy in esophageal cancer.

The phase II study, known as BTCRC-ESO14-012, is currently open for accrual at the Indiana University Melvin and Bren Simon Cancer Center, the University of Illinois Cancer Center, the Holden Comprehensive Cancer Center at the University of Iowa, Michigan State University Breslin Cancer Center, and the University of Michigan Comprehensive Cancer Center. Read More

May is Skin Cancer Detection and Prevention Month

May 7, 2017:

The skin protects against heat, sunlight, injury, and infection. Skin also helps control body temperature and stores water and fat. Skin cancer is the most common type of cancer. It usually forms in skin that has been exposed to sunlight, but can occur anywhere on the body.

Skin has several layers. According to the National Cancer Institute, skin cancer begins in the epidermis (outer layer), which is made up of squamous cells, basal cells, and melanocytes. You can learn more about skin cancer, including melanoma, from the National Cancer Institute.

May is Skin Cancer Detection and Prevention Month.  This month, the members of the Big Ten Cancer Research Consortium are raising awareness about strategies for preventing skin cancer, spearheading promising research, and even cycling to raise money for skin cancer research!
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Big Ten CRC meetings at ASCO

April 19, 2017:

The Big Ten Cancer Research Consortium will host meetings for the Big Ten CRC Foundation, Cancer Center Directors, Steering Committee, and Clinical Trial Working Groups during ASCO 2017. Read More

March is Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month

March 11, 2017:

March is the time to take stock of the number two ranking cause of cancer deaths in the United States: colorectal cancer (cancer of the colon or rectum). Since this time last year, it is estimated that 140,000 Americans were diagnosed with colorectal cancer, and more than 50,000 people died from it. During Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month, researchers, clinicians, survivors, and patients unite with the common purpose of discovering hope for those facing this cancer. 
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New study combines CDK and androgen receptor inhibitors in triple negative breast cancer

March 3, 2017:

Triple negative breast cancer (TNBC) represents a relatively small proportion — 15 percent — of all breast cancers. Yet a great deal of attention has been given to TNBC in recent years. While targeted therapies have been developed for breast cancers expressing estrogen receptor, progesterone receptor, and human epidermal growth factor receptor 2, advances in TNBC have been hampered by a lack of identified targets for the disease. As a result, the only approved treatment for TNBC remains chemotherapy.

Recent discoveries, however, have identified several molecular subtypes of TNBC, and researchers are now developing clinical trials to explore potential ways to treat these subtypes.

A new Big Ten Cancer Research Consortium study, led by Ruth O’Regan, MD (pictured), of the University of Wisconsin Carbone Cancer Center, is taking aim at one of these TNBC molecular subtypes: those that express androgen receptors, including the luminal androgen receptor (LAR) subtype. Read More

New study involves immunotherapy combination in metastatic lung cancer

Feb. 21, 2017:

For more than 25 years, Lawrence Feldman, MD, has been researching and treating patients with lung and head and neck cancers. In all those years, there have been few times that rival the optimism he feels when he considers the recent discoveries and advances in cancer immunotherapy.

“Over the last couple of years, immuno-oncology has been very successful in both lung and head and neck cancer. It’s been a very exciting area,” Dr. Feldman, a researcher at the University of Illinois at Chicago, said.

The approval of the PD-1 checkpoint inhibitor pembrolizumab (Keytruda®) by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, first in advanced melanoma, and more recently in advanced non-small cell lung cancer and head and neck cancer, has accelerated progress in the fight against cancer. Pembrolizumab is just one of many immunotherapy agents now being tested. Read More

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University of Wisconsin

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