Science Writer Seminar on Natural Products
|CCR Grand Rounds|
November 9: Dr. Thomas A. Waldmann, Chief, Metabolism Branch, CCR, "IL2 and IL15: Implications for Immunotherapy and the Design of Molecular Vaccines"
November 16: Dr. Phillip A. Dennis, Principal Investigator, Cancer Therapeutics Branch, CCR, "Targeting the Akt Pathway for the Prevention or Treatment of Lung Cancer"
CCR Grand Rounds are held 8:30 to 9:30 a.m. at the NIH campus in Bethesda, Md., in the Clinical Center's Lipsett Auditorium. d
The NCI press office will hold its 11th Science Writers' Seminar on Nov. 18. The seminar is one of a series intended to give science writers background on a particular area of cancer. Next month's seminar, "Natural Products for Cancer," will be held at the Natural Products Branch at NCI's Center for Cancer Research in Frederick, Md. Scientists in this branch analyze natural products from land and sea, and screen them to develop agents to prevent and treat cancer. For example, Taxol, a drug used to treat numerous cancers, was developed by NCI from the bark of the Pacific yew tree.
Participants will tour the biorepository and cancer cell line screening centers at the NCI-Frederick campus. Drs. Gordon Cragg and David Newman will explain how NCI collects the natural specimens and tests their potential as cancer treatments. Journalists can get more information about this and future seminars by contacting the NCI press office at 301-496-6641 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Sporn Discusses New Agents, Approaches for Chemoprevention
Dr. Michael Sporn, professor of pharmacology and medicine at Dartmouth Medical School, delivered the CCR Grand Rounds lecture on Oct. 26. "The link between inflammation and cancer is an old idea that is experiencing a renaissance," said Dr. Sporn, noting that one means of chemoprevention is to protect cells from oxidative damage induced by inflammation. He discussed the potential of steroid-like compounds known as triterpenoids, which can block the expression of genes associated with inflammation and have also been shown to protect cells from stress damage in tissue culture and mouse models. Dr. Sporn noted that currently his group's goal is to develop an effective and easily synthesizable compound that can be offered as a consumer drug. Dr. Sporn also discussed a potential new paradigm for chemoprevention, in which patients receive treatment intermittently instead of continually, seeking to better balance efficacy and risk.
HINTS Meeting for "Results Users" Announced
NCI's Health Information National Trends Survey (HINTS) is a biennial telephone survey designed to provide health communicators with population-based estimates of usage rates among different health communication channels. The survey also provides a platform for research into the relationship between channel usage (TV, Internet, print media) and indices of health behavior. During this year's American Public Health Association annual meeting in Washington, D.C., public health and communication practitioners are encouraged to attend a meeting on Nov. 10 at 10:00 a.m. to learn about HINTS and help NCI explore the best ways to create products that meet the need to use high-quality data in health communication planning and implementation. For additional information, go to http://www.scgcorp.com/hintsresults2004/.
Cancer.gov Gets High Marks
The NCI Web site, www.cancer.gov, received a top score among government Web sites on the American Customer Satisfaction Index third quarter report of 2004. The NCI Web site received an online customer satisfaction score of 80 on the 100-point scale, outperforming the E-Government average score of 71.2 by a wide margin, ranking in the top 5 news/information sites, and leading the highest scoring portal site by 2 points. NCI launched the redesigned www.cancer.gov Web site on May 26, following extensive changes to the site's navigation structure and design. The goal was to improve navigation and functionality for all users, the majority of whom are first-time visitors with an urgent need to get to the information they are seeking.
Dr. Zujewski Named Senior CTEP Investigator
Dr. Jo Anne Zujewski has been named senior investigator in the Clinical Trials Evaluation Program (CTEP) in NCI's Division of Cancer Treatment and Diagnosis, where she will oversee CTEP breast cancer trials. Dr. Zujewski joined NCI in 1993 and has been involved with many clinical trials relating to breast cancer prevention and treatment. She was the founding chairperson of the Breast Cancer Faculty Steering Committee and has served as a member of the planning committee for the NIH Consensus Conference for the adjuvant treatment of breast cancer. She has also served as an expert medical consultant to several international initiatives in breast cancer.