caBIG Annual Meeting Set for April
The 2005 caBIG Annual Meeting will take place April 12-13, 2005, at the Bethesda Marriott in Bethesda, Md. caBIG, which was launched in 2004, is an NCI initiative in partnership with over 50 NCI-designated Cancer Centers. The meeting will highlight the ways in which caBIG is delivering open-source, open-access tools, applications, data, and standards developed by the caBIG community to accelerate cancer research, prevention, and care. Anyone working in biomedical informatics or clinical research informatics is welcome to attend.
A meeting overview and information on registration and accommodations are available at http://caBIG.nci.nih.gov/2005_Annual_Meeting. Online pre-registration is required.
FDA Cautions Doctors on Eczema Drugs and Cancer Risk
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) issued an advisory to doctors on March 10 urging caution in prescribing two drugs used to treat eczema because of possible cancer risk.
Pimecrolimus (Elidel), made by Novartis, and tacrolimus (Protopic), made by Fujisawa Healthcare, will receive new label warnings saying that an increased risk of cancer may be associated with their use, the FDA said. Both drugs are applied to the skin to control eczema by suppressing the immune system.
Animal tests have shown an increase in cancer associated with the drugs, and a small number of cancers have been reported in children and adults treated with the drugs, the FDA said. The agency added that the manufacturers have agreed to do further tests to determine the actual risk, although both companies contended that the products have not been tied to cancer.
OCCAM TA Workshop Set for June
NCI’s Office of Cancer Complementary and Alternative Medicine will hold a technical assistance workshop June 27-28 in Bethesda, Md., on “How to Write a Grant in Cancer CAM.” Attendees will learn first-hand from NIH program directors, researchers who have received CAM research funding, and representatives of organizations that sponsor research about the different types of funding mechanisms for cancer CAM research, as well as details on grant preparation, development, assignment, review, and awards.
Investigators new to cancer CAM research and/or those who are struggling with the NIH grant application process are invited to attend. Space is limited to 20 applicants. To apply, investigators must submit a short description of their cancer CAM research proposal that relates to the prevention, diagnosis, or treatment of cancer, its symptoms, or treatment of side-effects. The submission deadline is April 1. For more information, contact Dr. Hasnaa Shafik at 301-435-7980 or at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Cancer.gov Gets High Marks Again
For the second consecutive quarter, the NCI Web site, http://www.cancer.gov, received a top score among government Web sites on the American Customer Satisfaction Index first quarter report for 2005. The site’s online customer satisfaction score was 80 on the 100-point scale for Web Portals/Department Main Sites, outperforming the E-Government average score of 71.9. A total of 59 federal government sites were scored in the quarter.
NCI launched a redesigned Web site in May 2004 with improved navigation and functionality for users, the majority of whom are first-time visitors with a pressing need for information. In November 2004, the site won a FREDDIE Award, also known as the International Health and Medical Media Information Award.