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The American Society for Radiation Oncology has selected 10 members to receive the honor of being designated a Fellow of ASTRO (FASTRO). The Fellows Program recognizes radiation oncology leaders who have been an ASTRO member for at least 15 years, who have contributed the equivalent of 10 years of service to ASTRO, and who have made substantial contributions to the field of radiation oncology in the areas of research, education, patient care or service, and leadership.

Figure. Shop Talk... - Click to enlarge in new windowFigure. Shop Talk

The following received their recognition during the Awards Ceremony at ASTRO's 55th Annual Meeting last month:


* Jonathan J. Beitler, MD, MBA, Professor of Radiation Oncology at Winship Cancer Institute of Emory University;


* Phillip M. Devlin, MD, Associate Professor of Radiation Oncology at Harvard Medical School;


* Thomas J. Eichler, MD, Medical Director of Radiation Oncology at Thomas Johns Cancer Hospital in Richmond, Va.;


* Silvia C. Formenti, MD, Chairman of and Professor in the Department of Radiation Oncology at New York University School of Medicine;


* Stephen M. Hahn, MD, Chairman of the Department of Radiation Oncology and Henry K. Pancost Professor of Radiation Oncology at the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania;


* Geraldine M. Jacobson, MD, MPH, MBA, founding Chairman of the Department of Radiation Oncology at West Virginia University;


* Tariq Altaf Mian, PhD, Director of Medical Physics at Medical Radiation Physics Inc. in Scottsdale, Ariz.;


* Bhudatt R. Paliwal, PhD, Professor of Human Oncology and Medical Physics at the University of Wisconsin;


* Seth A. Rosenthal, MD, Attending Radiation Oncologist at the Radiation Oncology Center and Sutter Cancer Center; and


* Peter B. Schiff, MD, PhD, Vice-Chairman of the Department of Radiation Oncology and Associate Chairman for Translational Research at New York University School of Medicine.



Steven T. Rosen, MD, FACP, the Genevieve E. Teuton Professor of Medicine and Director of the Robert H. Lurie Comprehensive Cancer Center of Northwestern University, has been named to the Board of Directors of the American Society of Clinical Oncology's Conquer Cancer Foundation.


"Dr. Rosen has made significant contributions to the cancer community throughout his life and career, and we are fortunate to be able to draw on his passion and expertise as we seek to advance our vision-a world free from the fear of cancer," W. Charles Penley, MD, FASCO, Chair of the Foundation's Board, said in a news release.

STEVEN T. ROSEN, MD,... - Click to enlarge in new windowSTEVEN T. ROSEN, MD, FACP. STEVEN T. ROSEN, MD, FACP

Rosen also serves as the principal investigator of the Lurie Cancer Center's NCI Cancer Center Support Grant and co-principal investigator of Northwestern's NCI-funded Center for Cancer Nanotechnology Excellence.


He joins the following returning members on the Foundation's Board in addition to Penley: Gabriel Hortobagyi, MD, FACP, FASCO, Treasurer; John H. Glick, MD, FASCO, Secretary; Beth Karlan, MD; and Sandra M. Swain, MD, FACP.


Janina A. Longtine, MD, Vice-Chair of Molecular Pathology and Genetics in the Department of Pathology at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, has been elected President of the Association for Molecular Pathology. Her election results in a three-year term on the Board of Directors and Executive Committee: first as President-Elect and Chair of the Strategic Planning Committee (2013-2014); then as President (2014-2015); and then as Past-President and Chair of the Nominating Committee (2014-2015). She will assume her first role at the Society's Annual Meeting next month.


"Dr. Longtine's election is a strong endorsement of her expertise and leadership in molecular pathology, a cutting-edge discipline that is key to the future of pathology, especially as we move into value-based medicine," Carlos Cordon-Cardo, MD, PhD, Chair of the Department of Pathology at Mount Sinai, said in a news release.

JANINA A. LONGTINE, ... - Click to enlarge in new windowJANINA A. LONGTINE, MD. JANINA A. LONGTINE, MD

Longtine has been at Mount Sinai since 2011. Before then, she was at Brigham and Women's Hospital and Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, as Director of Molecular Diagnostics and Co-Director of the Center for Advanced Molecular Diagnostics in the Department of Pathology and Program Director of the Harvard Medical School Molecular Genetic Pathology Fellowship.


Three new directors have been elected to the Association of American Cancer Institutes' Board to serve three-year terms that began in September. They are:


* Roy A. Jensen, MD, Director of the University of Kansas Cancer Center and Professor of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine and Cell Biology, Cancer Biology, and Molecular Biosciences.

ROY A. JENSEN, MD. R... - Click to enlarge in new windowROY A. JENSEN, MD. ROY A. JENSEN, MD

* Scott M. Lippman, MD, Director of the University of California San Diego Moores Cancer Center, where he is also Professor of Medicine and the Chugai Pharmaceutical Chair in Cancer; and


* Dan Theodorescu, MD, PhD, the Paul Bunn Professor and Director of the Consortium Comprehensive Cancer Center at the University of Colorado, where he is also Professor of Surgery and Pharmacology and Attending Urologic Oncologist with a focused clinical practice in bladder cancer and minimally invasive robotic surgery.



Michael V. Seiden, MD, PhD, has been appointed Chief Medical Officer for McKesson Specialty Health and The US Oncology Network.

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"Dr. Seiden's distinguished track record and extensive experience across patient care, research and operations makes him uniquely qualified to lead our organization's clinical and physician engagement strategy," Marc Owen, President of McKesson Specialty Health, said in a news release. "His experience as a practicing oncologist and in running a major cancer center will complement the existing leadership team and ensure that a physician's perspective is contemplated in all decisions."

MICHAEL V. SEIDEN, M... - Click to enlarge in new windowMICHAEL V. SEIDEN, MD, PHD. MICHAEL V. SEIDEN, MD, PHD

Seiden, who started the new position on September 22, most recently served as CEO and President of Fox Chase Cancer Center. Prior to that, he was Chief of the Clinical Research Unit of Massachusetts General Hospital.


Howard McLeod, PharmD, has joined Moffitt Cancer Center as the new Medical Director of the DeBartolo Family Personalized Medicine Institute and Senior Member in the Department of Cancer Epidemiology; this is the center's first cancer research endowed chair, as established by the Florida legislature.


As an endowed chair, McLeod is required to specialize in a cancer-related field of research that will facilitate coordination among research institutions within the state and attract other promising researchers and national funding. And in his additional role as Medical Director of the Personalized Medicine Institute, he will be involved with Moffitt's Total Cancer Care Study to create and share targeted cancer treatments. In addition, McLeod will continue his own research on the role genetic differences play in individual responses to cancer drugs.


Before joining Moffitt, McLeod was founding Director of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill's Institute for Pharmacogenomics and Individualized Therapy. He has been principal investigator for more than $16 million in grants and co-investigator for more than $80 million in grants from the National Institutes of Health.


Geoffrey L. Greene, PhD, the Virginia and D.K. Ludwig Professor for Cancer Research at the University of Chicago, has been named Chair of the Ben May Department for Cancer Research. His research focuses on understanding the molecular mechanisms by which female steroid hormones control development, differentiation, cellular proliferation, and survival in hormone-responsive tissues and cancers-most recently focusing on triple-negative breast cancer, the role of micro-RNAs in cancer growth and metastasis, tumor heterogeneity and novel approaches to targeting therapy-resistant breast cancers.


"Geoffrey Greene is a direct scientific descendent of the founders of the Ben May Laboratory-Charles Huggins, Elwood Jensen, and colleagues," Kenneth Polonsky, MD, Executive Vice President for Medical Affairs at the University of Chicago and Dean of the Biological Sciences Division and the Pritzker School of Medicine, said in a news release.

GEOFFREY L. GREENE, ... - Click to enlarge in new windowGEOFFREY L. GREENE, PHD. GEOFFREY L. GREENE, PHD

"They changed the way we think about many types of malignancy and provided new and effective ways to treat and prevent many hormone-driven tumors, a tradition that has expanded as the department has grown over the years. Geoff, who has served as the vice chair for the department since 2000, is well positioned to accelerate that growth and continue to expand the department's fields of interest."


Padmaja Sai, MD, has been named Medical Director of the Cancer Center at Florida Hospital Flagler, where she will focus on patient services, as well as the development of a clinical research strategy.


A team of researchers from Cedars-Sinai Medical Center has been awarded $5.18 million from the California Institute for Regenerative Medicine to advance stem cell technologies in segmental bone defects. The principal investigator is Dan Gazit, PhD, MD, Director of the Skeletal Regeneration and Stem Cell Therapy Laboratory and of the Molecular and Micro Imaging Core Facility at Cedars-Sinai.

PADMAJA SAI, MD. PAD... - Click to enlarge in new windowPADMAJA SAI, MD. PADMAJA SAI, MD

"We believe that segmental bone defects could be repaired by recruitment of stem cells to the bone defect site, followed by direct gene delivery," Gazit said in a news release. The team is developing a novel treatment approach that does not require grafting bone. Stem cells will be recruited to the fracture site using a collagen matrix and then a bone-forming gene will be directly delivered to the stem cells using an ultrasound pulse.

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Ioannis Sechopoulos, PhD, medical physicist and investigator in the Glenn Family Breast Cancer Center at Winship Cancer Institute of Emory University and in the Department of Radiology and Imaging Sciences at Emory University School of Medicine, has been awarded $1 million from Susan G. Komen. His research focuses on determining correct radiation doses for breast imaging tests using breast tomosynthesis, a new technology that produces a three-dimensional set of x-ray mammography slices.


"For the last 30 years, we've been estimating radiation dose based on a hypothetical breast with a homogeneous make-up of glandular and fat tissues, but every individual breast is structured differently," Sechopoulos explained in a news release. "Tomosynthesis enables us to map the actual structure of a person's breasts. The next step is to use those measurements to calculate radiation dose for every individual."


Brian Ladle, MD, PhD, and Christopher Gamper, MD, PhD, both of Johns Hopkins Kimmel Cancer Center's Division of Pediatric Oncology, have been awarded research grants from the St. Baldrick's Foundation.


Ladle, Instructor of Oncology, received a $165,042 St. Baldrick's Fellow award to support his work to develop a vaccine to be given to patients that activates their own immune system to treat their cancer.

BRIAN LADLE, MD, PHD... - Click to enlarge in new windowBRIAN LADLE, MD, PHD. BRIAN LADLE, MD, PHD

Gamper, Assistant Professor of Oncology, received a $115,000 extension of funding for his St. Baldrick's Scholar award (funded also by the McKenna Claire Foundation) for his research which focuses on immunotherapy and decreasing the late effects of treatment by reducing the need for chemotherapy and radiation for children with cancer.


Meenakshi Hegde, MD, an instructor of pediatrics in hematology/oncology at Baylor College of Medicine, has been awarded the 28th Schweisguth Prize from the International Society of Paediatric Oncology for the best scientific paper written by a trainee for her paper, "Combinational targeting offsets antigen escape and enhances effector functions of adoptively transferred T cells in high-grade glioma."


"Our results so far show that bispecific T cells simultaneously targeting two glioma associated-proteins improve tumor control and confer significant survival advantage to the treated animals in comparison to targeting a single protein only," Hegde said in a news release. "Our goal is to use the knowledge gained from this work to justify and develop a clinical trial with the hope of fulfilling the dire need for less toxic and more effective therapy for children with malignant glioma."


The paper was published in Molecular Therapy, and she delivered a presentation on the research at the International Society of Paediatric Oncology Congress last month.


George Calin, MD, PhD, Professor of Leukemia and of Experimental Therapeutics at the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, has received the 2013 Julie and Ben Rogers Award for excellence in research.


The $10,000 award, which rotates annually among the institution's areas of education, prevention, administration, patient care, and research, recognizes employees who consistently demonstrate excellence in their work and dedication to MD Anderson's mission of eliminating cancer.

GEORGE CALIN, MD, PH... - Click to enlarge in new windowGEORGE CALIN, MD, PHD. GEORGE CALIN, MD, PHD

"George has made enormous individual contributions to the understanding of basic cancer biology," Varsha Gandhi, PhD, Professor and Chair Ad Interim of Experimental Therapeutics, said in a news release. "His ability to continually express new directions for research amazes me, and his enthusiasm energizes his colleagues."


In 2009, Calin was named Co-director of the newly created Center for RNA Interference and Non-Coding RNAs. In 2011, he started a joint appointment as Associate Professor of Leukemia.


Anton Bilchik, MD, PhD, FACS, Professor of Surgery and Chief of Medicine at John Wayne Cancer Institute at Saint John's Health Center, has been named the recipient of "The Duke" Special Service Award. His research focuses on techniques to improve staging in colon cancer and minimally invasive approaches for liver and pancreatic cancer. He is also founder of the California Oncology Research Institute, a nonprofit organization that supports cancer research and education internationally and in underserved communities.


Two surgical oncologists of Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center have joined the staff at Sloan-Kettering's outpatient treatment center in Basking Ridge, N.J. Patients are able to receive chemotherapy or radiation treatments at the outpatient center, in addition to follow-up care and support services-and will now be able to meet with their entire care team. The new staff members are:


* Sam Yoon, MD, a surgical oncologist specializing in the diagnosis and treatment of patients with gastrointestinal cancers, melanomas, and sarcomas, and principal investigator of a translational research laboratory that examines the role of tumor blood vessels in controlling the growth, metastasis, and radiation response of gastroesophageal cancers and sarcomas.

SAM YOON, MD. Sam Yo... - Click to enlarge in new windowSAM YOON, MD. Sam Yoon, MD

* Robert Downey, MD, FACS, a thoracic surgeon specializing in the diagnosis and treatment of benign and malignant diseases of the chest cavity, with a focus in treating lung cancer including mediastinal tumors, mesothelioma, pulmonary metastases, pulmonary and upper gastrointestinal endoscopy, and tracheobronchial and esophageal stents. He also administers MSKCC's Surgical Advanced Care Unit, which provides a heightened level of postoperative monitoring and care for patients who either have undergone extensive operations, or who present with significant debilities prior to surgery.



MSKCC has also made two new appointments in Thoracic Surgery and Oncology:

ROBERT DOWNEY, MD, F... - Click to enlarge in new windowROBERT DOWNEY, MD, FACS. ROBERT DOWNEY, MD, FACS

* David R. Jones, MD, Chief of the Thoracic Service in the Department of Surgery. His research has focused on cancer metastasis biology and biomarker development-and he was the first to identify the loss of the metastasis suppressor gene BRMS-1 in lung cancer, and the first to use the COXEN biomarker predictor to determine the sensitivity of non-small cell lung cancer to molecularly targeted therapies.

DAVID R. JONES, MD. ... - Click to enlarge in new windowDAVID R. JONES, MD. DAVID R. JONES, MD

* Charles M. Rudin, MD, PhD, Chief of the Thoracic Oncology Service, Division of Solid Tumor Oncology in the Department of Medicine. He has conducted novel preclinical studies using patient-derived tumor tissue for preclinical drug testing of new therapies in lung cancer, and has led the analysis of the genomic alterations in small-cell lung cancer. His research has also included the study of epigenetic targeting, hedgehog signaling, and oncolytic viruses in the management of lung cancer and other malignancies.



Rudin was most recently Director of Lung Cancer Therapeutics and Associate Director for Clinical Research at Johns Hopkins Sidney Kimmel Comprehensive Cancer Center.

CHARLES M. RUDIN, MD... - Click to enlarge in new windowCHARLES M. RUDIN, MD, PHD. CHARLES M. RUDIN, MD, PHD

The American Cancer Society has named Sally G. Cowal, former U.S. ambassador and U.S. Foreign Service Officer, to be Senior Vice President of Global Health. In the role, she will lead the Society's efforts to reduce the global burden of cancer, primarily through advocacy for effective tobacco control measures; improvement of access to cancer screening, treatment, and pain relief; and collaborations with other cancer control organizations, advocates, and governments.


"We've arrived at a threshold of opportunity to put cancer on the global agenda in the same way we did with AIDS 20 years ago," Cowal said in a news release. "The American Cancer Society is an organization with the knowledge, experience, and reach via its massive grassroots network to mobilize global stakeholders against this disease, and I am privileged to lead this effort on its behalf."

SALLY G. COWAL. SALL... - Click to enlarge in new windowSALLY G. COWAL. SALLY G. COWAL

Cowal was most recently Senior Vice President and Chief Liaison Officer of Population Service International, a nonprofit serving 65 developing countries. Prior to that, she was U.S. Ambassador to the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago, appointed by former Presidents George H. W. Bush and Bill Clinton. She has also served as U.S. Deputy Assistant Secretary of State, minister counselor for public affairs at the U.S. embassy in Mexico, and counselor for political affairs at the U.S. Mission to the United Nations.


Cowal's experience included having helped found the Joint United Nations Program on HIV/AIDS in Switzerland, and serving as its Director for External Relations to raise awareness of AIDS as a public health and economic issue. She was also Founder, President, and CEO of the Cuba Policy Foundation, a nonprofit organization dedicated to the study of the benefits of expanding trade and people-to-people contact with Cuba.


Anthony Pawson, Infl uential Cell Biologist, Dies at 60

Anthony Pawson, PhD, a cell biologist whose research identified the cellular mechanism involved in cell communication, died on August 7 in Toronto, at age 60.


Pawson's studied signal transduction in cells. In 1990, he and his research team identified the specific protein interactions involved in cell signaling, the SH2 domain, which serves as a landing pad for signaling proteins and sets off a molecular chain reaction carrying information to the cell's nucleus. This discovery allowed for the development of a new generation of drugs that halt the proliferation of some kinds of cancer cells. The finding also has relevance for the understanding and treatment of diabetes and disorders of the immune system.


Pawson had most recently served as a Distinguished Scientist and the Apotex Chair in Molecular Oncology at the Lunenfeld-Tanenbaum Research Institute of Mount Sinai Hospital, as well as a Senior Fellow in Massey College at University of Toronto. He had been at the Lunenfeld-Tanenbaum Research Institute since 1985.


"As we mourn this loss, we know that the memory of Tony's extraordinary contributions will serve as an inspiration as we continue to pursue his lifelong work of discovery and making our world a better and healthier place," Jim Woodgett, PhD, Director of Research for Mount Sinai's Lunenfeld-Tanenbaum Research Institute, said in a statement.

ANTHONY PAWSON, PHD.... - Click to enlarge in new windowANTHONY PAWSON, PHD. ANTHONY PAWSON, PHD (1952-2013)

In June 2008, Pawson was the first Canadian scientist to be named a Kyoto Prize Laureate. In 2006, he was inducted into the Canadian Medical Hall of Fame, and that same year was named to the Order of the Companions of Honour by Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, one of only nine Canadians to have received such an honour.


He has also received: the 2007 Premier's Summit Award for Medical Research, the Gairdner Foundation International Award, the Dr. H.P. Heineken Prize for Biochemistry and Biophysics, Columbia University's Louisa Gross Horwitz Prize, and the Wolf Prize in Medicine. He has been elected to the Order of Ontario, and was a fellow of the Royal Society of London and the Royal Society of Canada. He had authored more than 370 scholarly publications.


ESMO Annual Awards

The European Society for Medical Oncology has presented the organization's most prestigious awards, which were given at the European Cancer Congress last month in Amsterdam.


Cora Sternberg, MD, FACP, Chief of the Department of Medical Oncology at San Camillo Forlanini Hospital and Adjunct Professor at La Sapienza University (both in Rome), received the ESMO Award for her pioneering research in genitourinary cancer therapy. She is also Adjunct Professor of Urology and Urological Oncology at Tufts University School of Medicine and the Lahey Clinic.


"Cora's inspiring work in developing the M-VAC chemotherapy regimen-the established 'gold standard' of treatment for more than 20 years for bladder and urothelial cancers-has significantly improved outcomes for patients across borders," Josep Tabernero, MD, PhD, Chair of ESMO Fellowship and Award Committee, said in a news release. "Her expertise coupled with her dedication to providing optimal patient care through clinical research has served to advance medical oncology, cancer research, and practice around the world,"


Franco Cavalli, MD, Chair of the Scientific Committee of the European School of Oncology and Scientific Director of the Oncology Institute of Southern Switzerland, received the ESMO Lifetime Achievement Award for his long-standing contribution to lymphoma research and treatment. He has conducted research in leukemia, breast cancer, and currently malignant lymphoma, and was instrumental in creating the International Extranodal Lymphoma Study Group. He is also founding editor of Annals of Oncology, ESMO's scientific journal.


"Franco Cavalli is a true gentleman and scholar, tirelessly working to advance cancer research and care for the benefit of cancer patients all over the world," Tabernero said. "Long before the term 'oncopolicy' started to gain momentum, he was already tackling key health care and policy issues to better raise awareness of and around cancer. He has also been instrumental in promoting the specialty of Medical Oncology at the European and international levels."

FRANCO CAVALLI, MD. ... - Click to enlarge in new windowFRANCO CAVALLI, MD. FRANCO CAVALLI, MD
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Roger Stupp, MD, President of the European Organization for Research and Treatment of Cancer, Professor at the University of Zurich, and Director of the Department of Oncology at University Hospital Zurich and the Zurich Cancer Centre, received the Hamilton Fairley Award for his research on malignant gliomas, head and neck, and lung cancers. He has been lead investigator on several academic large Phase III trials and has helped bring new anti-angiogenic and biological treatments to the clinic.


"Stupp has played a critical role in establishing the bench-bedside-bench virtuous cycle of knowledge throughout Europe to dramatically improve the clinical management and outcome of patients in daily practice," Tabernero noted.

ROGER STUPP, MD. ROG... - Click to enlarge in new windowROGER STUPP, MD. ROGER STUPP, MD

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