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 http://videocast.nih.gov/PastEvents.asp?c=4.
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.
Roberts Wins Leopold Griffuel Prize
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
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