Fred Hutchinson Researchers Receive $3.5-Million Grant for Inherited Blood Disorder Treatment
Hans-Peter Kiem, MD, PhD, and Roland Walter, MD, PhD, from the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, have been awarded a 4-year, $3.5-million grant from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) to support an investigational treatment for inherited nonmalignant blood disorders, such as sickle cell disease or thalassemia. With this new grant, Drs. Kiem and Walter will explore methods to deliver radioactive particle astatine-211 to blood and marrow cells through antibodies, in hopes of reducing toxicity typically associated with conditioning regimens for these disorders.
“We have spent decades improving conditioning regimens for transplant patients, and we’re now on the leading edge of doing the same for gene therapy and genome editing,” said Dr. Kiem. “The ultimate goal is to make these gene therapies safer and translate this work into patients.”
In their project, Dr. Walter will engineer several antibodies and test the candidates in mice, then Dr. Kiem will take the most promising of these antibodies into the final stages of testing before being studied in humans.
Source: Fred Hutchinson news release, May 21, 2020.
JADPRO Appoints Beth Faiman as Editor-in-Chief
Beth Faiman, PhD, CNP, has taken over as Editor-in-Chief of the Journal of the Advanced Practitioner in Oncology (JADPRO), the official publication of the Advanced Practitioner Society for Hematology and Oncology (APSHO). She succeeds Pamela Hallquist Viale, RN, MS, who served as Editor-in-Chief of the journal since its inception 10 years ago.
Dr. Faiman is an adult nurse practitioner in the Department of Hematologic Oncology and Blood Disorders at Cleveland Clinic’s Taussig Cancer Institute. She previously served as Editor-in-Chief of The Oncology Nurse APN/PA and as Associate Editor of ASH Clinical News. She is a founding member of the International Myeloma Foundation Nurse Leadership Board and in 2019 was inducted as a Fellow in the American Academy of Nursing.
“I am delighted at becoming the new Editor-in-Chief of JADPRO. … It is an honor to take on this responsibility to provide relevant and up-to-date information for advanced practitioners,” said Dr. Faiman. “I intend to continue the journal’s mission to improve the quality of care for patients with cancer through education and addressing critical issues of interest.”
Source: APSHO press release, August 25, 2020.
NCI Partners with Cancer Research UK to Fund International Research Initiative
The National Cancer Institute (NCI) has announced a new partnership with Cancer Research UK to fund Cancer Grand Challenges, an international initiative to address unanswered questions in cancer research. The initiative will support multidisciplinary re-
search teams from around the globe who are working on projects that show potential to make significant advances in cancer research and improve outcomes for patients.
“This new partnership leverages the expertise of the world’s leading funders of cancer research in a bold effort to identify and pursue innovative ideas that address major challenges in understanding cancer,” said NCI Director Norman E. “Ned” Sharpless, MD. “We’re thrilled to join Cancer Research UK in this unique collaboration to support novel cancer research on a global scale.”
Cancer Research UK is the largest independent cancer research charity in the world. Their Grand Challenge initiative launched in 2015 and has already funded seven international teams of researchers across nine countries. The “challenges” are determined through a series of international workshops to receive input from thought leaders from the cancer research community and people affected by cancer; the most compelling ideas generated from these workshops are then reviewed and the final challenges selected.
The new partnership will co-fund around four awards of approximately $25 million over 5 years for each round of Cancer Grand Challenges. The NCI anticipates three rounds of awards, with new challenges announced every other year. The first list of challenges is expected to be announced by the end of 2020, and expressions of interest from research teams will be accepted through April 2021. A small number of teams will then be selected to receive pilot funds to develop larger applications, and the final winners will be announced in 2022. The selection committee is led by English geneticist and Nobel laureate Sir Paul Nurse.
Source: NIH news release, August 27, 2020.
Edward Chu Named Director of Albert Einstein Cancer Center
As of October 1, Edward Chu, MD, is Director of the Albert Einstein Cancer Center, part of the Montefiore Health System. He has also taken on the roles of Vice President for Cancer Medicine at Montefiore Medicine and Professor of Medicine and of Molecular Pharmacology, and holds the Carol and Roger Einiger Professorship of Cancer Medicine at Albert Einstein College of Medicine.
Dr. Chu was previously Deputy Director of UPMC Hillman Cancer Center (HCC) in Pittsburgh. He worked as Co-Leader of HCC’s Cancer Therapeutics Program and Director of the HCC Phase I Program. He also served as the Chief of Hematology-Oncology at UPMC and was the Associate Director of its Drug Discovery Institute. In addition to his leadership roles, Dr. Chu is a translational and clinical investigator and clinical oncologist with a focus on cancer pharmacology, drug development, and the molecular mechanisms of drug resistance.
Source: Montefiore Medicine press release, July 22, 2020.