Samuel M. Silver, MD, PhD, Assistant Dean for Research and Professor of Internal Medicine at the University of Michigan Comprehensive Cancer Center, has been elected Chairman of the National Comprehensive Cancer Network Board of Directors. He previously served as Vice-Chairman of the Board and succeeds Thomas A. D'Amico, MD, of Duke Cancer Institute.
“This is an exciting time for the NCCN. The Board has just approved an extensive strategic plan, and over the next few years, we are planning many projects, including electronic point-of-service deployment of the NCCN Guidelines, the introduction of enhanced oncology pathways, and enlarging our influence in coverage and public policy,” Silver said in a news release.
D'Amico had served as Chairman of the NCCN Board of Directors since 2010 and will remain a member of the board. Timothy J. Eberlein, MD, of Siteman Cancer Center at Barnes-Jewish Hospital and Washington University School of Medicine, will succeed Silver as Vice-Chairman.
Harlan Levine, MD, has joined City of Hope Medical Foundation as Chief Executive. Levine is a former executive vice president at WellPoint Inc., where he oversaw Comprehensive Health Solutions and designed and launched the health system's most comprehensive value-based reimbursement initiative.
Wendy Demark-Wahnefried, PhD, Professor in the University of Alabama at Birmingham Department of Nutrition Sciences and Associate Director for Cancer Prevention and Control at the UAB Comprehensive Cancer Center, has been elected President of the American Society of Preventive Oncology.
Her research focuses on diet, hormonal, and genetic interactions and their association with neoplasia, specifically in breast and prostate cancers; dietary intervention to prevent chronic disease factors affecting compliance and recidivism; and lifestyle modification among cancer survivors. She serves in roles for the American Cancer Society, the National Institutes of Health, and the World Cancer Fund.
Mark R. Kelley, PhD, the Betty and Earl Herr Professor of Pediatric Oncology Research, and Melissa L. Fishel, PhD, Assistant Research Professor of Pediatrics, both at Indiana University School of Medicine, have received a five-year, $3.2 million grant (CA 167291) from the NCI for their work developing therapies for pancreatic cancer. Their research focuses on investigating the signaling pathways and molecular mechanisms that contribute to pancreatic tumor progression and resistance to therapy, specifically as related to Ref-1 protein.
Clement S. Rose, MD, a physician at Advocate Illinois Masonic Medical Center in Chicago, has received the St. George National Award, the highest honor given for volunteer service by the American Cancer Society. Rose has been a volunteer with ACS for 24 years at the local, state, and national levels.
The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center presented the following two individuals with awards to recognize their advocacy for women in medicine and research:
* Karen Antman, MD, Provost of Boston University Medical Campus and Dean of its School of Medicine since 2005, received the Margaret L. Kripke Legend Award for Promotion of Women in Cancer and Medicine Research. She also delivered an accompanying lecture, “Kripke, a Role Model for Today's Leaders in Cancer Research and an Update on the Progress of Women.”
* Maria Alma Rodriguez, MD, Vice President of Medical Affairs and Professor of Lymphoma/Myeloma at MD Anderson, received the inaugural President's Leadership Award for Advancing Women Faculty, and presented her lecture, “Advancement of Women Faculty Matters.”
Karen Lo, MD, a surgical resident at the University of Colorado, has received the Colorectal Cancer Research Scholar Award, given annually by the Colon Cancer Challenge Foundation and the Society of Surgical Oncology to recognize excellence in translational research focused on the molecular biology of colorectal cancer. She studies tumor microenvironment and host immune response under an American Cancer Society Grant, and received this award for the abstract “Downregulation of Intercellular Adhesion Molecule-1 (ICAM-1) Abrogates Hepatic Metastases in Murine Colon Adenocarcinoma.”
The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia has received a $500,000 gift from the GlaxoSmithKline Foundation to enhance the GlaxoSmithKline Hope for Families Fund, an endowment that provides assistance for travel and living expenses to families of the children enrolled in investigational and/or novel treatments at the hospital. The Children's Hospital has the largest therapeutics program in the United States currently.
The National Comprehensive Cancer Network has announced the addition of two new member institutions: the University of California San Diego Moores Cancer Center and the University of Colorado Cancer Center. UC San Diego is also an NCI-designated comprehensive cancer center, the only one in the San Diego area. Scott M. Lippman, MD, serves as Director there. The University of Colorado Cancer Center also holds an NCI-designation—and is the only one in the state. Dan Theodorescu, MD, PhD, serves as Director there.
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Cancer Research Pioneer John Kersey, Dies at 74
John Kersey, MD, founder of the University of Minnesota's Blood and Marrow Transplant Program and Director there from 1974 to 1995, died unexpectedly in March at age 74. He was also the founding director of the Masonic Cancer Center at the University of Minnesota, which became an NCI-designated comprehensive cancer center in 1998.
“John was the driving force that helped the University of Minnesota become internationally recognized for excellence in cancer treatment and research,” Aaron Friedman, MD, Dean of the Medical School and the University's Vice President of Health Sciences, said in a statement. “His enthusiasm for his work was contagious, and his passion for bringing people together to solve problems changed the way cancer research is conducted.”
In 1975 Kersey led the team that completed the world's first successful bone marrow transplant for malignant lymphoma. The patient who received that treatment is still alive and well, and bone marrow transplantation has become the standard of care for many types of blood cancers and other illnesses.
“The work that we do at the Masonic Cancer Center is a direct result of the leadership of John Kersey,” Douglas Yee, MD, Director of the Masonic Cancer Center, said in a news release. “The world has been positively changed by John's scientific, educational, and clinical contributions. In addition, John provided mentorship and guidance to researchers around the world who will now carry on his legacy.”
Kersey also served as President of the International Society for Experimental Hematology and the American Society for Blood and Marrow Transplantation. He held continuous funding from the NIH from 1977 through 2010, and received an Outstanding Investigator Award from the NCI.
He is survived by his wife, Anne; three children; and four grandchildren.
ASCO Announces Special Awards Recipients
The American Society of Clinical Oncology has announced the following winners of the organization's annual Special Awards to be presented at the Annual Meeting (May 31-June 4 in Chicago). The awards recognize researchers, patient advocates, and leaders in the fields of clinical oncology, cancer research, and public and government advocacy who have made significant contributions to cancer care this year.
Martine J. Piccart, MD, PhD, Professor of Oncology at Université Libre de Bruxelles and Director of Medicine at the Jules Bordet Institute, Brussels, Belgium, will receive the David A. Karnofsky Memorial Award and present the award's lecture during the meeting's Opening Session.
Charles L. Sawyers, MD, Head of the Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center Human Oncology and Pathogenesis Program, will receive the Science of Oncology Award and present the award's lecture during the Plenary Session.
Kenneth Offit, MD, Chief of the Clinical Genetics Service at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, will receive the ASCO-American Cancer Society Award, and present the award's lecture. Offit is also a member of the Program in Cancer Biology and Genetics at the Sloan-Kettering Institute and a Professor of Medicine and Public Health at Weill College of Medicine at Cornell University.
Arti Hurria, MD, Director of the Cancer and Aging Research Program at City of Hope, will receive the B.J. Kennedy Award for Scientific Excellence in Geriatric Oncology and present the award's lecture.
Garrett M. Brodeur, MD, the Audrey E. Evans Endowed Chair in Pediatric Oncology at the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia, will receive the Pediatric Oncology Award and present the award's lecture.
Eduardo L. Cazap, MD, PhD, founder and first President of the Latin American and Caribbean Society of Medical Oncology, the Immediate Past President of the International Union against Cancer, will receive the Distinguished Achievement Award at a private function for his efforts to put cancer and world health onto the international political agenda. Cazap was also recently designated Deputy Chair of the Developing Countries Task Force of the European Society of Medical Oncology.
Otis W. Brawley, MD, FACP, Chief Medical and Scientific Officer for the American Cancer Society, will receive a Special Recognition Award at a private function for his career of clinical practice, research, and public policy.
Bella Kaufman, MD, leader of the breast cancer unit at The Chaim Sheba Medical Center at Tel Hashomer in Israel (affiliated with Tel Aviv University), will receive the Humanitarian Award. She is being recognized for going beyond her daily patient work to care for the underserved populations in her region, including the recent influx of African refugees to Israel and the Palestinian villages of the West Bank.
Howard R. Soule, PhD, Executive Vice President and Chief Science Officer at the Prostate Cancer Foundation, will receive the Partners in Progress Award.
Richard Pazdur, MD, Director of the Office of Hematology and Oncology Products in the Center for Drug Evaluation and Research of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, will receive the Public Service Award.
Larry Norton, MD, Deputy Physician-in-Chief for Breast Cancer Programs and Medical Director of the Evelyn H. Lauder Breast Center, will receive the Gianni Bonadonna Breast Cancer Award and present the award's lecture at the 2013 Breast Cancer Symposium in San Francisco in September.
And, the following individuals will be recognized as Fellows of the American Society of Clinical Oncology for their extraordinary volunteer service, dedication, and commitment to ASCO: Stephen A. Cannistra, MD; Michael A. Carducci, MD; Eduardo L. Cazap, MD, PhD; Martin J. Murphy, DMedSc, PhD; Joan H. Schiller, MD; George W. Sledge, Jr., MD; and Everett E. Vokes, MD.