Dr. von Eschenbach Presents Grand Rounds Lecture
NCI Director Dr. Andrew C. von Eschenbach spoke at NCI's Center for Clinical Research (CCR) Grand Rounds on July 13, discussing NCI's goal of eliminating suffering and death due to cancer by 2015. Dr. von Eschenbach illustrated how NCI, in the 30 years since the signing of the National Cancer Act, has created and nurtured the largest cancer enterprise worldwide. NCI's future, Dr. von Eschenbach stated, is in supporting the discovery, development, and delivery continuum to individualize patient treatment, decrease health care costs, and provide the most state-of- the-art technology available to control cancer. He invited the incoming fellows to become a part of NCI history by challenging them to push the limits of cancer research, and to make a difference for generations of researchers to come.
Defeating Cancer through Prevention and Early Detection
On July 13, Friends of Cancer Research, the Senate Cancer Coalition, and the House Cancer Caucus hosted a panel discussion on defeating cancer through chemoprevention and early detection. Dr. Anna Barker, NCI deputy director for advanced technologies and strategic partnerships, joined panel members Clifton Leaf, executive editor, Fortune; Dr. Rick Pazdur, director, FDA's Oncology Drug Products Division; Dr. Homer Pearce, distinguished research fellow, Eli Lilly and Company; and Dr. Michael B. Sporn, professor of pharmacology, Dartmouth Medical School. Carolyn "Bo" Alidge, president, Cancer Research and Prevention Foundation, gave introductory remarks, and Representative Sue Myrick (R-N.C.) shared her personal experience with cancer. Susan Dentzer, health correspondent, NewsHour with Jim Lehrer, moderated the panel. The panel agreed on the broad changes needed to achieve the aforementioned goal: a societal commitment to prevention as distinct from cancer treatment; public education on the nature of cancer as a chronic, progressive disease; incentives for industry that would encourage a focus on prevention; and improvements to the regulatory approval process for chemoprevention agents.
Each panel member suggested one step needed to reach the goal of defeating cancer; Dr. Barker highlighted the importance of connecting people through the real-time transfer of information.
Vonderhaar Presents Cserr Lecture
On July 7, Dr. Barbara K. Vonderhaar, chief of NCI's Mammary Biology and Tumorigenesis Laboratory in the Center for Cancer Research, presented the Helen F. Cserr Memorial Lecture at Mount Desert Island Biological Laboratory (MDIBL). Dr. Vonderhaar's talk was entitled "Prolactin: The Forgotten Hormone of Breast Cancer."
Dr. Vonderhaar is also chair of NCI's breast cancer faculty and co-chair of the Intramural Program for Research on Women's Health at the National Institutes of Health (NIH). She received her Ph.D. in oncology from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. After postdoctoral training in mammary gland biology at NIH, she joined NCI where she studies prolactin action in breast cancer. Dr. Vonderhaar was the first to purify a prolactin receptor from any source and the first to characterize a monoclonal antibody directed against the human prolactin receptor.
Mouse Model Consortium Committee Meets to Set Priorities
NCI's Mouse Models of Human Cancers Consortium (MMHCC) held its semi-annual steering committee meeting July 14-16 in Washington, D.C. This committee provides continuing advice to NCI on the needs and priorities for mouse models and the necessary infrastructure, resources, and technologies to support their development and deployment to the research community. Meeting participants included MMHCC principal investigators (PIs) and co-PIs, staff from NCI's extramural divisions and caBIG, and Cheryl Marks, the MMHCC program director who lead efforts to plan this meeting. The goals of the meeting were to set the policies and procedures for the Consortium and decide the relative merit of proposed initiatives by the thematic, standing, and working group committees.
At the meeting's roundtable discussions, PIs summarized their research in the early origins of cancer, host and environmental factors, tumor progression and metastasis, and interventions. NCI staff presented information about NCI's caBIG and mouse repository.
MMHCC is an NCI collaborative program that derives and validates mouse models; generates resources, information, and innovative approaches to the application of these models in cancer research; provides the cancer research community with information about mouse models and research generated by the consortium and other NCI-supported projects through electronic venues including the EMICE and mouse repository Web sites, online databases, and a monthly newsletter. For more information, go to http://emice.nci.nih.gov/.