Science Writers' Seminar Focuses on Childhood Cancers
Advances in diagnosis and treatment of childhood cancers were highlighted at NCI's Science Writers' Seminar at the Children's Inn at NIH on April 26. About 40 people attended the seminar, including more than 24 reporters. Dr. Donald Small, professor of oncology, pediatrics, and cellular and molecular medicine at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, announced that his laboratory had just received approval from the biopharmaceutical company Cephalon to test one of its drugs (CEP-701) as a targeted therapy for relapsed acute myeloid leukemia.
Dr. Alan Wayne, clinical director of NCI's Pediatric Oncology Branch, reported on genetic techniques that allow doctors to predict which children are at risk for relapse and might benefit from aggressive treatments. Dr. Wayne also eulogized Killian Owen, who several years ago was the first child to take the targeted drug BL22 for acute lymphocytic leukemia. Although Killian died in August 2003 at age 9, researchers are using medical information from his case in their studies of BL22 and newer versions of that drug. "Killian was an inspiration to know, and he lives on through the studies now underway," Dr. Wayne said.
NCI Sponsors New International Research Fellowships
The NCI Office of International Affairs (OIA) has established three new Joint Research Project Fellowships (JRPFs) with research programs in Japan, the United Kingdom (U.K.), and the Republic of Ireland. The programs are intended to foster relationships between U.S. and foreign investigators through support of a shared postdoctoral fellow. Each fellowship includes funding for the fellow's salary and a travel allowance for the fellow and the two investigators that share his/her mentoring. The U.S. principal investigator may be from the NCI intramural research program or an NCI grantee.
The partner for the U.K. JRPF is the National Translational Cancer Research Network. This program is intended to support research projects in translational science. The next deadline for this program is May 16, 2005; up to two JRPFs per year will be supported. Details are available at http://www.ntrac.org.uk.
The partner for the Ireland JRPF, supported by the Ireland-Northern Ireland-NCI Cancer Consortium, is the Health Research Board of the Ireland Department of Health and Children. Up to five JRPFs are available. The application deadline is July 22, 2005. Details are available at http://www.hrb.ie/r&d.
The Japan JRPF is part of the U.S.-Japan Cooperative Cancer Research Program. Fellowships can be proposed in basic, clinical, or behavioral/population science. The application deadline is fall 2005; up to three JRPFs can be supported each year. Details will be posted on the OIA Web site at http://www.cancer.gov/oia.
Grodzinski Joins OTIR
On April 4, Dr. Piotr Grodzinski joined the staff of NCI as program director for cancer nanotechnology in the Office of Technology and Industrial Relations. He will manage the activities of the newly formed Alliance for Nanotechnology in Cancer, as well as related cancer nanotechnology research. Dr. Grodzinski received his Ph.D. in materials science from the University of Southern California in 1992. Subsequently, he held positions in research and research management at Motorola, and most recently with the Los Alamos National Laboratory where he was group leader and interim chief scientist of the Center for Integrated Nanotechnologies.
Brochure on Reducing Radiation Risks Available
A new publication, Interventional Fluoroscopy: Reducing Radiation Risks for Patients and Staff, has been produced by NCI's Division of Cancer Epidemiology and Genetics and the Society of Interventional Radiology. Intended primarily for health care professionals, the brochure discusses the increasing use, complexity, and value of interventional fluoroscopy; the associated radiation risks; and the importance of optimizing patient radiation dose. It also outlines the potential clinical effects of radiation exposures to the skin and eye lens, suggests strategies to minimize radiation dose for patients and staff, provides guidelines for dosimetry records and follow-up, and encourages education and training in radiation sciences for health care professionals. The brochure is being distributed at national professional meetings and through mailings to radiologists and other professionals who perform these procedures. It is available on NCI's Web site at http://cancer.gov/cancertopics/interventionalfluoroscopy. For a limited number of copies, please contact Ursula Leitzmann at Leitzmau@mail.nih.gov.