NCI Cancer Bulletin: A Trusted Source for Cancer Research NewsNCI Cancer Bulletin: A Trusted Source for Cancer Research News
January 11, 2005 • Volume 2 / Number 2 E-Mail This Document  |  Download PDF  |  Bulletin Archive/Search  |  Subscribe

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Clinic Receives Media Award
Dr. Elmer Huerta The Cancer Preventorium, a Washington, D.C., clinic offering preventive cancer screenings for Latino immigrants, was 1 of 11 winners of the Innovation in Prevention Awards from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services for its media program. The awards are presented to organizations for promoting healthy lifestyles. Dr. Elmer Huerta (at right), who founded the clinic at the Washington Cancer Institute on the campus of the Washington Hospital Center in 1994, accepted the award on behalf of the Cancer Preventorium. The clinic uses radio and television to encourage Latinos in the area to visit a physician as a preventive measure, before they develop disease symptoms. Dr. Huerta is a former member of the National Cancer Advisory Board and maintains a close relationship with NCI. He also produces and hosts three health-related radio shows, one of which is nationally syndicated. He started a weekly TV program, Hablemos de Salud (Let's Talk About Health), in 1996 on MHz NETWORKS, a Washington-area station with multicultural programming.

Comments Invited on Future Biospecimen Needs
NCI's Cancer Diagnosis Program is requesting input and comments to help efforts to estimate future biospecimen resource needs. The program has developed a Web site - - to solicit input about human tissue requirements in cancer research. Users should log in by choosing the description that best identifies the research group they represent. All responses are confidential, but users are encouraged to include their primary areas of expertise. For additional information, contact Dr. Kishor Bhatia at

Last Chance for Web Site Input on Future of Clinical Trials
The Clinical Trials Working Group (CTWG), via its Web site at, continues to seek feedback about revising the cancer clinical trials system. Users should log in by choosing from a menu the description that best identifies the group they represent and entering the password (CTWGstakeholder) before providing their input. The password is also given on the login page. All responses will be kept confidential. The Web site is open for feedback through January 15, 2005.

Imaging Informatics Resource Launched Through Public-Private Partnership
NCI's Cancer Imaging Program recently launched a Web-accessible imaging database resources initiative (IDRI) in conjunction with the Foundation for the National Institutes of Health (FNIH) and the National Electrical Manufacturers Association.

IDRI's goal is to rapidly create a Web-accessible and validated CT imaging database to support the development, optimization, and testing of application-specific software tools with a goal of improving the clinical management of lung cancer. The IDRI demonstration project is an expansion of NCI's Lung Imaging Database Consortium and the Lung Cancer Screening Trial. Imaging companies participating in the initiative include AGFA, Fujifilm, GE Healthcare, iCAD, Kodak Health Imaging, Siemens Medical Solutions, Philips Medical Systems, and R2 Technology.

IDRI is part of NCI's efforts to speed the development and dissemination of quantitative informatics tools for imaging and integration of other patient data for clinical decision making. This will help enable the use of molecular imaging and other molecular-based methods for patient-specific diagnosis and assessment of therapy response.

For additional information on this initiative, contact Dr. Larry Clarke at Corporations interested in joining this partnership should contact Julie Wolf-Rodda of FNIH at

Coffey Discusses Common Denominators of Cancer
Dr. Donald Coffey, professor of urology, oncology, pathology, pharmacology and molecular sciences at Johns Hopkins School of Medicine, delivered the Center for Cancer Research Grand Rounds lecture on January 4. Dr. Coffey discussed the importance of looking at aspects common to all cancers, rather than just looking for markers present in a small percentage of tumors. He cited cell shape as one prime example of a common factor. "It doesn't matter what the origin of the cancer is," Dr. Coffey said. "One of the lowest common denominators of cancer progression is a physical change." Dr. Coffey then described changes in chromatin structure that predate changes in cell structure, noting that all of the prostate tumor samples he studied from autopsies had multiple, unbalanced chromosomal rearrangements. The proteins involved in mitosis are also critical, he noted, because chromosomal ploidy changes are also a hallmark of tumor growth.

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