Article Content

David G. Nathan, MD, President Emeritus of Dana-Farber Cancer Institute and Physician-in-Chief Emeritus of Boston Children's Hospital, has received the inaugural Boston Children's Hospital Lifetime Impact Award, which recognizes a clinician and/or researcher who has devoted his or her entire career to accelerating innovation in pediatric medicine, and provides national and international recognition to an individual who has made extraordinary and sustained leadership contributions throughout his or her career to improve health care in the field of pediatrics. Nathan was presented the award in November at the Boston Children's Hospital's Annual Global Pediatric Innovation Summit, "Taking on Tomorrow."

Figure. No caption a... - Click to enlarge in new windowFigure. No caption available.

"With the selection of David Nathan as the inaugural recipient of Boston Children's Lifetime Impact Award, we have set the bar high for this new honor," Boston Children's President Sandra L. Fenwick, said in a news release. "David is the consummate patient-centered researcher who is not only a giant in the development of the field of pediatric hematology/oncology, but also a superb leader and teacher."

DAVID G. NATHAN, MD.... - Click to enlarge in new windowDAVID G. NATHAN, MD. DAVID G. NATHAN, MD

Nathan has served as President of Dana-Farber (1995-2000), Physician-in-Chief and Chair of the Department of Medicine at Boston Children's (1985-1995), Pediatrician-in-Chief of Dana-Farber (1974-1985), and Chief of the Division of Hematology and Oncology at Children's Hospital Medical Center and Dana Farber (1974-1984).


His research led to the creation of the first successful treatment for iron overload in thalassemia patients, prenatal diagnosis of thalassemia, and sickle cell disease, as well as the drug hydroxyurea, now a mainstay for managing the disease. He is also leading a clinical trial aimed at developing treatment for acute chest syndrome, a serious complication of sickle cell disease.


J. Michael Bishop, MD, the 1989 Nobel Laureate in Medicine or Physiology, has received the Daniel Nathans Memorial Award from Van Andel Research Institute for his contributions to biomedical research and impact on human health. He also gave the accompanying scientific lecture and a lay lecture during his visit to the Institute in December.


Bishop's Nobel Prize recognized his discovery (with Harold Varmus, MD) of proto-oncogenes, and the team also received the Albert Lasker Basic Medical Research Award and the National Medal of Science for the discovery.

J. MICHAEL BISHOP, M... - Click to enlarge in new windowJ. MICHAEL BISHOP, MD. J. MICHAEL BISHOP, MD

"Dr. Bishop is an exemplary scientist whose contributions to cancer research cannot be overstated," Peter Jones, PhD, DSc, VARI's Research Director, said in a news release. "His work has had a significant impact on biomedical research and on human health, and aligns perfectly with the spirit of the Daniel Nathans Memorial Award."


David M. Gershenson, MD, Professor and Past Chair of the Department of Gynecologic Oncology and Reproductive Medicine at the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, and William J. Hoskins, MD, Executive Director of Surgical Activities in the Department of Surgery at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, have each received the Award of Excellence from the International Gynecology Cancer Society. The award, given at the organization's Biennial Meeting in November, recognizes clinical, organizational, and scientific accomplishments of key individuals in the field of gynecologic oncology.


Gershenson has been Editor in Chief of Gynecologic Oncology for more than 15 years, President of the Society of Gynecologic Oncology, and Director of the American Board of Obstetrics and Gynecology. He is currently Chair of the NRG Oncology's Rare Tumor Committee; Co-Chair of the National Cancer Institute Gynecologic Cancer Steering Committee; and Chair of the Foundation for Women's Cancer (formerly the GCF).

WILLIAM J. HOSKINS, ... - Click to enlarge in new windowWILLIAM J. HOSKINS, MD. WILLIAM J. HOSKINS, MD

Hoskins has served as Director of the Division of Gynecologic Oncology of the National Naval Medical Center (1976 to 1986); Chief of the Gynecology Service of Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center; Director of the Cancer Center in Savannah, Georgia; and Vice Chairman of the Gynecologic Oncology Group. He has also been President of the Society of Gynecologic Oncology, Vice President of the International Gynecologic Cancer Society, and an Associate Editor of the Gynecologic Oncology.


D. Gary Gilliland, MD, PhD, is the new President and Director of Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center. He was most recently Vice President of Precision Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania's Perelman School of Medicine, and prior to that he was an executive at Merck Research Laboratories.


"Gary is an excellent scientist who early on made seminal discoveries regarding the molecular basis of leukemias. He has remarkable breadth-he is a highly respected scientist," Mark Groudine, MD, PhD, who was acting President and Director of Fred Hutch before Gilliland started on January 2, said in a news release. "He has strong interests and expertise in immunotherapy and its application to a broad spectrum of cancers, as well as in precision medicine-two areas that are of extreme importance to Fred Hutch."

D. GARY GILLILAND, M... - Click to enlarge in new windowD. GARY GILLILAND, MD, PHD. D. GARY GILLILAND, MD, PHD

Gilliland also previously spent more than 20 years at Harvard Medical School as Professor of Medicine and a Howard Hughes Medical Institute Investigator. He was a Professor of Stem Cell and Regenerative Biology at Harvard and he directed the leukemia program at Dana-Farber/Harvard Cancer Center. His work has included research on understanding the genetic basis of leukemias and other blood cancers, and on investigational cancer treatment development, including precision and molecularly targeted therapies.


Kathleen Green, PhD, the Joseph L. Mayberry, Sr., Professor of Pathology and Toxicology, and Professor of Dermatology at Feinberg School of Medicine at Northwestern University, has been appointed Associate Director for Basic Sciences Research at Northwestern's Robert H. Lurie Comprehensive Cancer Center, a position she started in November.


"Kathy is a superb addition to the senior leadership of the Lurie Cancer Center. She is an outstanding investigator and a strong leader," Lurie Cancer Center Director Leonidas Platanias, MD, PhD, said in a news release. "She will drive the expansion of our basic research programs, which are key to our clinical-translational capabilities and our success as a cancer center."


Green's research program is focused on understanding the molecular basis for how cells stick together, not only to provide mechanical strength to tissues, but also to regulate chemical signals important for development and differentiation. She has an interest in tissues such as skin and heart that are major targets for adhesion-related diseases, including inherited, autoimmune and bacterial-toxin mediated disorders and cancer.


She replaces Thomas O'Halloran, PhD, the Charles E. and Emma H. Morrison Professor of Chemistry and Professor of Molecular Biosciences at the Weinberg College of Arts and Sciences, and Director of the Chemistry of Life Processes Institute, who has assumed a new leadership role at the Cancer Center as Senior Advisor to the Director.


James P. Allison, PhD, Professor and Chair of the Department of Immunology at the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, and Jedd D. Wolchok, MD, PhD, the Lloyd J. Old/Virginia and Daniel K. Ludwig Chair in Clinical Investigation and Chief of the Melanoma and Immuontherapeutics Service at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, have each received the American Italian Cancer Foundation's Prize for Scientific Excellence in Medicine. The annual award recognizes world-class scientific researchers who have made important discoveries in cancer biology, prevention, diagnosis, and/or treatment. The awards were presented at the Foundation's Benefit Dinner & Auctions in November.


Allison was recognized for his work in basic and tumor immunology, including the discovery of CTLA-4, which resulted in a paradigm shift in cancer immunotherapy, stimulating the discovery of addition immune checkpoints and the development of experimental drugs to block them.

JAMES P. ALLISON, PH... - Click to enlarge in new windowJAMES P. ALLISON, PHD (left) and JEDD D. WOLCHOK, MD, PHD. JAMES P. ALLISON, PHD (left) and JEDD D. WOLCHOK, MD, PHD

Wolchok, who specializes in melanoma, was also recognized for his work in immunotherapies. His research has focused on the development of novel immunotherapies. He has served as principal investigator in several pivotal clinical trials, including the large Phase III trial that led to the FDA approval of ipilimumab, now used as a first-line treatment for patients with advanced melanoma.


The National Cancer Institute has announced the recipients of the Institute's Cancer Clinical Investigator Team Leadership Awards, which recognize and support outstanding mid-career clinical investigators at NCI-Designated Cancer Centers who participate extensively in NCI-funded collaborative clinical trials and whose leadership, participation, and activities promote a culture of successful clinical research. The awards are intended to help retain investigators in academic clinical research careers.


Each of the award recipients is a full-time faculty member who is a board-certified physician and has practiced medicine between three and 10 years post-fellowship. The 2014 awardees were formally announced by James H. Doroshow, MD, NCI Deputy Director for Clinical and Translational Research, at the NCI Clinical Trials and Translational Research Advisory Committee Meeting in November.


The awardees will devote 15 to 20 percent effort to the activities associated with this award, and the sponsoring Cancer Centers have agreed to protect the awardees' time for these activities. The award provides partial salary support for two years for the awardee to engage in activities and efforts related to the award. The awardees are:


* Neeraj Agarwal, MD, of the University of Utah Huntsman Cancer Institute;


* Robert Chen, MD, of City of Hope Comprehensive Cancer Center;


* Michael Gibson, MD, PhD, of Case Comprehensive Cancer Center of Case Western Reserve University;


* Theodore Hong, MD, of Dana-Farber/Harvard Cancer Center;


* R. Kate Kelley, MD, of the University of California, San Francisco Helen Diller Family Comprehensive Cancer Center;


* Araz Marachelian, MD, MS, of the University of Southern California Norris Comprehensive Cancer Center;


* Stergios Moschos, MD, of the University of North Carolina Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center;


* Rita Nanda, MD, of the University of Chicago Medicine Comprehensive Cancer Center;


* Daniel Persky, MD, of the University of Arizona Cancer Center;


* Erin Reid, MD, MS, of the University of California, San Diego Moores Cancer Center; and


* Teresa Rutledge, MD, of the University of New Mexico Cancer Center.



A group of University of Wisconsin Carbone Cancer Center researchers has won a $2.8 million federal grant for their research to develop improved prostate cancer tests. The project will be led by Hirak Basu, PhD, Senior Scientist at the Center, David Beebe, PhD, Professor of Biomedical Engineering, and Kevin Eliceiri, PhD, Director of the UW Optical and Computational Instrumentation Laboratory.


"Right now, there is no widely accepted method to distinguish between aggressive and indolent prostate cancers," Basu said in a news release. "Our goal is to be able to standardize a special microscopic observation method of prostate tissue biopsies to reliably predict which prostate cancers have a high potential for metastasis, and thus require aggressive treatment such as surgery or radiation."

HIRAK BASU, PHD. HIR... - Click to enlarge in new windowHIRAK BASU, PHD. HIRAK BASU, PHD
DAVID BEEBE, PHD. DA... - Click to enlarge in new windowDAVID BEEBE, PHD. DAVID BEEBE, PHD

Earlier work by the team described the pathway through which androgen creates harmful radioactive oxygen species (ROS), which appear to set off the progression of prostate cancer. Cancer cells with high levels of ROS may escape from the prostate into the blood and lymph systems and metastasize in distant organs such as bone. This four-year study will assay sections of prostate tumors obtained from surgically removed prostate tissues from patients for microscopic markers related to the aggressive form of cells and then correlate the results with patient outcome data that will reveal which of the men had aggressive tumors and which had indolent cancers.


The Johns Hopkins Greenberg Bladder Cancer Institute awarded six grants for bladder cancer research for 2014. The grants (each $50,000 and renewable for up to three years) are awarded in the following areas: genetic and epigenetic approaches; immunotherapy; targeted therapies; patient care, prevention and screening; and pioneering studies. The grants were awarded to:


* Trinity Bivalacqua, MD, PhD, Associate Professor of Urology, Surgery and Oncology at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine and Director of Urologic Oncology at the Johns Hopkins Kimmel Cancer Center, for the project, Nanomedicine Approaches for Improving Intravesical Delivery of Chemotherapeutic Agents;


* Charles Drake, MD, PhD, Associate Professor of Oncology, Urology and Immunology at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, for the project, Dissecting the Phenotype of CD4 and CD8 Tumor Infiltrating Lymphocytes in Advanced Bladder Cancer;


* George Netto, MD, Director of Surgical Pathology and Molecular Diagnostics, and Professor of Pathology, Oncology and Urology at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, for the project "TERTPromoter Mutations Urine Assay for Early Detection and Monitoring of Bladder Cancer";


* Peter H. O'Donnell, MD, Assistant Professor of Medicine at the University of Chicago Medicine Comprehensive Cancer Center, for the project "Genetic Diversity of T Cell Receptors Impacting Anti-tumor Effects in Bladder Cancer";


* Armine Smith, MD, Assistant Professor of Urology at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, for the project "Pilot Study of TRAIL and BCG Combination Therapy in Bladder Cancer"; and


* Dan Theodorescu, MD, PhD, Professor of Urology and Director of the University of Colorado Cancer Center, for the project "The Role of AGL, a Glycogen Debranching Enzyme in Bladder Cancer."



Nancy Hesse, MSN, RN, has been named Chief Nursing Officer at Cancer Treatment Centers of America, where she will lead the development and execution of system-wide programs and best practices for safety outcomes and clinical quality. Hesse, who began the role in December, has most recently been Senior Vice President of Patient Care Services at CTCA at Eastern Regional Medical Center in Philadelphia and will continuing serving in that position.


"Nancy brings a wealth of knowledge and expertise to the role of Chief Nursing Officer," Gerard van Grinsven, CTCA's President and CEO, said in a news release. "Her outstanding leadership and tireless efforts to uphold quality patient care and the 'Mother Standard' of care at our Eastern Regional Medical Center have provided guidance for our clinical nursing staff to the benefit of our patients."

NANCY HESSE, MSN, RN... - Click to enlarge in new windowNANCY HESSE, MSN, RN. NANCY HESSE, MSN, RN

Before joining CTCA last January, she was Chief Nursing Officer at Abington Health, Lansdale Hospital.


The American Society of Clinical Oncology has established a new Clinical Affairs department to provide services, education, and resources to support oncology practices. The new department will offer hands-on assistance in practice management, quality care assessment and improvement, and efficiency and business intelligence, according to a news release.


"The health care delivery and clinical research environment has dramatically changed, and oncology professionals are experiencing a broader range of issues and challenges than they faced even a few years ago," said ASCO CEO Allen S. Lichter, MD, FASCO.


"Through its policy and advocacy efforts, ASCO carries the oncology community's message to policymakers on the legislative and regulatory needs for clinical care and research. Our new Clinical Affairs department will provide on-the-ground support for oncology practices navigating today's demanding environment."


ASCO will house its existing practice management resources in the new department, which will be expanded over the next year to include support in the areas of the business of oncology, practice transformation to medical home and to certification, and market analysis. ASCO is currently seeking an oncologist to lead the Clinical Affairs department who has experience in all aspects of managing an oncology practice.


Award for OT's 'Profiles in Oncology Social Media' Series!

We are delighted to announce that Lola Butcher's continuing "Profiles in Oncology Social Media" series ( has won the 2014 FOLIO: Eddie Award for Best Series of Articles in the category of Healthcare/Medical/Nursing.

Figure. No caption a... - Click to enlarge in new windowFigure. No caption available.

Also recognized with Honorable Mentions in the competition were (1) George W. Sledge, Jr., MD, for his ongoing blog/column "Musings of a Cancer Doctor" (; and (2) OT itself in the category of Use of Twitter (@OncologyTimes).


The awards are described as the largest competition in magazine publishing, with approximately 2,000 entries this year, and 140 awards given. The competition is the only one that honors both editorial and design teams-the Eddies recognize editorial excellence and the Ozzies recognize excellence in magazine design. The competition is also the only one open to all magazines, including consumer, trade, custom, and association publications.

Lola Butcher. Lola B... - Click to enlarge in new windowLola Butcher. Lola Butcher