NCI Cancer Bulletin: A Trusted Source for Cancer Research NewsNCI Cancer Bulletin: A Trusted Source for Cancer Research News
March 8, 2005 • Volume 2 / Number 10 E-Mail This Document  |  Download PDF  |  Bulletin Archive/Search  |  Subscribe

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CCR Grand Rounds
March 15: Dr. Cynthia Dunbar, Head, Molecular Hematopoiesis Section, Hematology Branch, NHLBI, and Dr. Neal G. Copeland, Director, Mouse Cancer Genetics Program, CCR, NCI-Frederick "Of Mice and Monkeys: Stem Cell Immortalization Genes Unmasked"

March 22: Dr. Kenneth C. Anderson, Kraft Family Professor of Medicine, Harvard Medical School; Chief, Division of Hematologic Neoplasia; Director, Jerome Lipper Multiple Myeloma Center, Department of Medical Oncology, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute "Targeting the Myeloma Cell in its Microenvironment"

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 Amphitheater.

Los Angeles Science Writers Seminar
The NCI Press Office conducted two special events in Los Angeles last month. On February 23, NCI sponsored its first Science Writers' Seminar outside of the D.C. area, partnering with local Comprehensive Cancer Centers in presenting a seminar on cancer and genetics. Dr. Steve Libutti of the CCR Surgery Branch of NCI and researchers from UCLA's Jonsson Cancer Center, USC/Norris Cancer Center, and City of Hope presented information to reporters from National Public Radio, the L.A. Times, N.Y. Times, Pasadena Star-News, Santa Monica Daily Breeze, and a number of major publications that target Hispanic and Asian populations in the L.A. basin. The archived webcast of the seminar can be viewed at

On February 24, Dr. Libutti joined staff from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in visiting head writers and producers from such TV shows as Medical Investigations, ER, and Grey's Anatomy to discuss potential stories related to cancer and how NCI and CDC can assist them in developing factual and informative dramas. That evening Dr. Libutti, along with five other prominent spokespersons, addressed a well-attended symposium at the Writers Guild of America on areas of interest and concern in genetic testing for cancer and other diseases.

Dr. Anita Roberts Roberts Wins Leopold Griffuel Prize
Dr. Anita Roberts of CCR's Laboratory of Cell Regulation and Carcinogenesis, has won the 2005 Leopold Griffuel Prize, awarded by the French Association for Cancer Research. The prize of 100,000 euros goes to an individual or group whose research has led to a major discovery in the field of cancer.

Dr. Roberts was recognized for her seminal work in the purification, characterization, and further analysis of transforming growth factor-ß (TGF-ß), which she began almost 20 years ago in the NCI laboratory of Dr. Michael Sporn. TGF-ß is a protein with properties and functions common to many growth factors. TGF-ß has emerged as a growth factor with unique signaling paradigms and plays key roles in wound healing, as well as in autoimmune disease, fibrosis, and cancer.

Past winners of the Leopold Griffuel Prize include Drs. C. Everett Koop, Samuel Broder, Steven Rosenberg, Robert Gallo, and Vincent DeVita. The award ceremony will take place in Paris on October 15.

Prostate Cancer Endpoints Discussed at FDA Advisory Meeting
Endpoints for prostate cancer clinical trials was the topic of discussion at the FDA's quarterly meeting of the Oncologic Drugs Advisory Committee on March 3. An endpoint is an event or outcome that can be measured objectively to determine whether the intervention being studied is beneficial.

The discussion focused primarily on the utility of endpoints based on prostate-specific antigen (PSA) levels and other indicators such as quality-of-life measures. No clear consensus emerged about endpoints, but part of the discussion focused on a proposal to use a reduction in PSA by 50 to 75 percent over 3 months as the primary indicator of efficacy in a prospective clinical trial for advanced prostate cancer.

Liotta to Leave NCI
Dr. Lance Liotta of the Section of Tumor Invasion and Metastases in NCI's CCR announced that he will leave NCI in May to become co-director of the Center for Proteomics and Molecular Medicine at George Mason University in Fairfax, Va., with Dr. Emanuel Petricoin, of FDA's Center for Biologics Evaluation and Research. The new center will work with the university's resources in mathematics, engineering, life sciences, and nanotechnology to accelerate the translation of basic science discoveries in the world of proteomics to innovative clinical research and patient-tailored medicine.

In the March 1 Note about Dr. Keith Wailoo's National Library of Medicine (NLM) lecture on "Race, Science, and Cancer," the NCI Cancer Bulletin incorrectly stated that videotapes were available for purchase. Tapes are not available for purchase but the lecture may be viewed at the NLM's History of Medicine Reading Room or borrowed via interlibrary loan. For more information, please contact Dr. Stephen J. Greenberg, Coordinator of Public Services, History of Medicine Division, National Library of Medicine, at 301-435-4995 or We regret the error.