OnCore Login

Press Release

Jabbour joins Big Ten CRC Steering Committee

Jan. 8, 2018:

The Big Ten Cancer Research Consortium (Big Ten CRC) recently welcomed Salma Jabbour, MD, as a member of its Steering Committee, representing Rutgers Cancer Institute of New Jersey. The committee, composed of one representative from each member institution, meets on a regular basis to review activities of the consortium and decide matters of policy.

A radiation oncologist with a subspecialty in lung and gastrointestinal (GI) cancers, and a co-chair of the Big Ten CRC’s GI Clinical Trial Working Group (CTWG) and member of the Thoracic CTWG, Jabbour embodies the Big Ten CRC spirit. Read More

University of Michigan integrative oncology program applications due Jan. 15

Jan. 4, 2018:

Applications are due January 15 for a nationwide integrative oncology training program. The Integrative Oncology (IO) Scholars program brings together oncology professors from the Big Ten and beyond, in a free year-long course. Designed for the full spectrum of oncology care professionals, the program equips oncologists, nurses, physician assistants, physical therapists, occupational therapists, social workers, and psychologists with the knowledge and skills necessary to provide safe and evidence-based integration of complementary therapies in conventional oncology care. The course is funded by the National Cancer Institute and developed by researchers and clinicians at the University of Michigan Medical School. Read More

Big Ten CRC study investigates combined use of immunotherapy and hypomethylating agent guadecitabine in treating advanced kidney cancer

Dec. 21, 2017:

Researchers have made great strides in the fight against cancer through recently approved immunotherapy drugs, including pembrolizumab and nivolumab, drugs that target a specific interaction between cancer cells and T cells.

Part of a class of immune therapies known as checkpoint inhibitors, these drugs target the programmed death-1 / programmed death-ligand 1 (PD-1/PD-L1) pathway. PD-1/PD-L1 drugs have led to durable responses in patients whose tumors responded to therapy.

“However, most patients with advanced kidney cancer — up to 3 in 4 patients — do not benefit from these drugs,” said Ajjai Alva, MD, of the University of Michigan. “We believe that a significant factor influencing the low response rate can be found within the tumor microenvironment and hope that adding a drug that targets DNA methylation to the PD-1/PD-L1-targeting drugs might lead to improved response rates.”

Dr. Alva is leading a new Big Ten Cancer Research Consortium study, known as BTCRC-GU16-043, that is looking at ways to expand the proportion of patients with advanced kidney cancer who respond to PD-1/PD-L1 therapy.

Dr. Alva believes a significant factor influencing the low response rate can be found within the tumor microenvironment. Dr. Alva hopes that adding a drug that targets DNA methylation to the PD-1/PD-L1-targeting drugs might lead to improved response rates.

Cancer cells can become resistant to cancer drugs such as chemotherapy or immunotherapies. Sometimes cancer cells turn genes off in order to hide from the immune system. One way cancer cells turn genes off is by a process called “methylation.” Methylation of a gene is like having layers of paint on the gene. If the gene gets so coated that it can’t be read, it turns off. In order for the immune system to find and attack the cancer, these genes need to be turned back on or uncovered. Drugs called hypomethylating agents can help turn genes back on or peel off the paint. Guadecitabine is a hypomethylating agent that may help turn certain immune signals back on.

Durvalumab (also known as Imfinzi™) is approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to treat advanced bladder cancer. Guadecitabine has not been approved by the FDA to treat any disease. The use of durvalumab and guadecitabine should be considered investigational. “Investigational” means this combination has not been approved by the FDA.

The single-arm phase Ib/II study, will enroll a total of 52 subjects with advanced clear cell renal cell carcinoma. Subjects will be enrolled into one of two cohorts. Cohort 1 will enroll 36 subjects who have received up to one prior therapy, but have not received prior anti-PD-1/PD-L1/CTLA4 therapy. Cohort 2 will enroll 16 subjects who have received up to two prior therapies, one of which must be a prior anti-PD-1/PD-L1 drug to which they did not respond.

Researchers will study durvalumab combined with guadecitabine in two parts:

  • Part One will investigate the safety and appropriate dosing of guadecitabine in combination with durvalumab. Up to 12 people will participate in the first part.
  • Part Two will investigate the percentage of patients whose tumor shrank after receiving guadecitabine with durvalumab. About 46 people will participate in the second part.

The BTCRC-GU16-043 study is now open to accrual at the University of Michigan Comprehensive Cancer Center. Additional sites will open the study in the near future.

The trial is supported by AstraZeneca Pharmaceuticals, LP, and Astex Pharmaceuticals, Inc.

For more information about this study, including full eligibility requirements, visit www.clinicaltrials.gov (study #NCT03308396).

 


About the Big Ten Cancer Research Consortium: The Big Ten Cancer Research Consortium was created in 2013 to transform the conduct of cancer research through collaborative, hypothesis-driven, highly translational oncology trials that leverage the scientific and clinical expertise of Big Ten universities. The goal of the Big Ten Cancer Research Consortium is to create a unique team-research culture to drive science rapidly from ideas to new approaches to cancer treatment. Within this innovative environment, today’s research leaders collaborate with and mentor the research leaders of tomorrow with the unified goal of improving the lives of all patients with cancer.

About the Big Ten Conference: The Big Ten Conference is an association of world-class universities whose member institutions share a common mission of research, graduate, professional and undergraduate teaching and public service. Founded in 1896, the Big Ten has sustained a comprehensive set of shared practices and policies that enforce the priority of academics in the lives of students competing in intercollegiate athletics and emphasize the values of integrity, fairness and competitiveness. The broad-based programs of the 14 Big Ten institutions will provide over $200 million in direct financial support to almost 9,500 students for more than 11,000 participation opportunities on 350 teams in 42 different sports. The Big Ten sponsors 28 official conference sports, 14 for men and 14 for women, including the addition of men’s ice hockey and men’s and women’s lacrosse since 2013. For more information, visit www.bigten.org.

Schott joins Big Ten CRC Steering Committee

Nov. 2, 2017:

The Big Ten Cancer Research Consortium recently welcomed as a member of its steering committee Anne Schott, MD, clinical professor of medicine and associate director of clinical research at the University of Michigan Comprehensive Cancer Center. The committee consists of one representative from each member institution and is responsible to decide matters of policy for the consortium.

A Gulf Coast native, Schott attended medical school at the University of South Alabama. She completed a medical internship and residency at University of Virginia and then a fellowship in hematology-oncology at the University of Michigan. Read More

Big Ten Cancer Researchers Hold Summit in Chicago

Oct. 19, 2017:

Researchers and leaders from 12 Big Ten cancer centers will meet at Big Ten Conference Headquarters in Chicago on Saturday. The Big Ten Cancer Research Consortium Summit is expected to draw about 150 participants, including researchers from across the consortium and representatives from pharmaceutical and biotech companies. The University of Illinois Cancer Center and the Robert H. Lurie Comprehensive Cancer Center of Northwestern University are co-hosting the meeting. Read More

Big Ten Cancer Research Consortium opens endometrial cancer clinical trial

Sept. 25, 2017:

The Big Ten Cancer Research Consortium (BTCRC) announces the opening of a clinical trial for patients with advanced or recurrent endometrial cancer.

The study, known as BTCRC-GYN15-013, involves pembrolizumab, one of a new class of drugs called PD-1 inhibitors, given in combination with routine care using paclitaxel and carboplatin chemotherapy. [Pictured: Study sponsor-investigator Daniela Matei, MD of Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine.]

The Robert H. Lurie Comprehensive Cancer Center of Northwestern University in Chicago is currently enrolling subjects in this study. Additional member sites within the Big Ten Cancer Research Consortium will open the trial in the coming months. Read More

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.

Read More

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.”
Read More

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

University of Illinois

University of Illinois

Indiana University

Indiana University

University of Iowa

University of Iowa

University of Michigan

University of Michigan

Michigan State

Michigan State

University of Minnesota

University of Minnesota

University of Nebraska

University of Nebraska

Northwestern University

Northwestern University

Penn State University

Penn State University

Purdue University

Purdue University

Rutgers State University

Rutgers State University

University of Wisconsin

University of Wisconsin

© 2018 All rights reserved.

Big Ten Cancer Research Consortium
500 N. Meridian Street, Suite 100, Indianapolis, IN 46204

email: info@bigtencrc.org    phone: 317–921–2050