NCI Cancer Bulletin: A Trusted Source for Cancer Research NewsNCI Cancer Bulletin: A Trusted Source for Cancer Research News
September 27, 2005 • Volume 2 / Number 37 E-Mail This Document  |  Download PDF  |  Bulletin Archive/Search  |  Subscribe

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Featured Article

NCI Director Assumes Role as Acting FDA Commissioner

National Cancer Institute (NCI) Director Dr. Andrew C. von Eschenbach was named by President George W. Bush last Friday to assume the role of acting commissioner of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Dr. von Eschenbach also will continue in his role as NCI director.

"I am excited and eager to accept the challenge," Dr. von Eschenbach said. "The FDA has a critical mission in protecting and improving the health of the American people.

"With the leadership and support of Health and Human Services Secretary Mike Leavitt, I will work to ensure an orderly transition to new, permanent leadership at FDA, while continuing my commitment to NCI."

The appointment of Dr. von Eschenbach to acting FDA commissioner followed the resignation from that position by Dr. Lester Crawford. In addition to his time as the FDA commissioner, Dr. Crawford also served as deputy commissioner and acting commissioner at the agency.  Read more  

Director's Update

Guest Update by Dr. Robert H. Wiltrout

The Center for Cancer Research: Finding Opportunities,
Facing Challenges

In 2001, the NCI intramural Divisions of Basic Sciences and Clinical Sciences were merged to form the Center for Cancer Research (CCR). This reengineering was fueled by the rapid pace of biotechnology advancement and the growing need for multidisciplinary approaches to the complex scientific problems NCI researchers are increasingly tackling. CCR's mission is to reduce the burden of cancer through exploration, discovery, and translation. This integrated structure is intended to promote rapid bench-to-bedside translation of promising cancer therapies. In turn, results from the clinic are informing the work of laboratory investigators to further refine therapies. In CCR, we value high-quality investigator-initiated research but we are also challenging the customary ways of thinking and organizing, fostering cross-disciplinary and multi-institutional research to solve complex problems in cancer research.

Within the last year, research initiated and developed at the Center culminated in a number of notable advances, including a vaccine against cervical cancer, a promising new immunotherapy against melanoma and renal carcinoma, an FDA-approved drug to treat oral mucositis, a protective agent to prevent hair loss in cancer patients undergoing radiotherapy, and a cutting-edge molecular profiling technology. These advances are impacting the NCI challenge goal of eliminating the suffering and death due to cancer by 2015 and improving the quality of life for cancer survivors. At present, a number of additional therapies are working their way through clinical trials to reach the patients.  Read more  

The NCI Cancer Bulletin is produced by the National Cancer Institute (NCI). NCI, which was established in 1937, leads the national effort to eliminate the suffering and death due to cancer. Through basic, clinical, and population-based biomedical research and training, NCI conducts and supports research that will lead to a future in which we can identify the environmental and genetic causes of cancer, prevent cancer before it starts, identify cancers that do develop at the earliest stage, eliminate cancers through innovative treatment interventions, and biologically control those cancers that we cannot eliminate so they become manageable, chronic diseases.

For more information on cancer, call 1-800-4-CANCER or visit

NCI Cancer Bulletin staff can be reached at