Niederhuber Joins NCI as Deputy Director for Translational Research
Dr. John Niederhuber, who recently stepped down as chair of the NCAB, has been named NCI deputy director for Translational and Clinical Sciences, effective October 2. Dr. Niederhuber is a surgical oncologist and past director of the University of Wisconsin Comprehensive Cancer Center. He pioneered a totally implanted drug delivery system to provide continuous hepatic arterial infusion for patients with liver metastases from colorectal cancer. He also was the first to implant venous access devices, which proved to be an exceptional benefit for cancer patients receiving chemotherapy. He was supported for many years by the NCI extramural program as a laboratory investigator with interests in tumor immunology and cellular signaling pathways involved in abnormal cell growth.
NCI and NSF Partner to Support Nanotech Training
NCI and the National Science Foundation (NSF) announced this week a partnership that will prepare extramural, multidisciplinary researchers to apply nanotechnology to cancer diagnosis and therapy. The partnership, which provides $12.8 million to four institutions over 5 years, is part of NCI's Alliance for Nanotechnology in Cancer. Each award will support about 30 students and link the principal investigators' labs with local cancer centers and research institutions.
Recipients include: Dr. Diana Huffaker, University of New Mexico; Dr. Fernando Muzzio, Rutgers University; Dr. Srinivas Sridhar, Northeastern University; and Dr. Marjorie Olmstead, University of Washington. The awards are made through NSF's Integrative Graduate Education and Research Traineeship Program, which targets underrepresented groups in engineering, science, and mathematic doctoral programs. For more information go to http://nano.cancer.gov.
NCI Fellow to Ride in Tour of Hope
Dr. Keith Bellizzi, a DCP Cancer Prevention Fellow working in NCI's Office of Cancer Survivorship, is 1 of 24 cyclists riding in this year's Bristol-Myers Squibb Tour of Hope™. Dr. Bellizzi is a 10-year, two-time cancer survivor and a cancer researcher focusing on survivorship and aging, coping, and health behaviors.
On September 29, the Tour of Hope riders will begin their cross-country ride in San Diego. They will travel through California, Arizona, New Mexico, Texas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, Georgia, South Carolina, North Carolina, Virginia, and Maryland and conclude the ride on October 8 in Washington, D.C. Riders include cancer researchers, nurses, physicians, caregivers, and cancer survivors who will ride in relays. For more information, go to http://www.tourofhope.org.
Strathern Named Deputy Director of CCR-Frederick
Dr. Robert Wiltrout has appointed Dr. Jeffrey Strathern Deputy Director of CCR-Frederick. Dr. Strathern will work closely with senior CCR staff to ensure that the needs of CCR labs in Frederick are represented at the Division level, while also representing CCR in interactions with NCI-Frederick senior management. Dr. Strathern will work with the broad CCR research community, promoting the use of the Frederick campus' biotechnology and computational resources.
Dr. Strathern received his doctorate from the University of Oregon in 1977, and then joined Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory. In 1984, he accepted a post at the ABL-Basic Research Program at NCI's Frederick Cancer Research Development Center (now NCI-Frederick). In 1999, Dr. Strathern joined NCI's intramural program.
Study of Avastin in Ovarian Cancer Discontinued
On Friday, Genentech, Inc., announced that enrollment has been discontinued in a multicenter, single-arm phase II study of bevacizumab (Avastin) in platinum-refractory ovarian cancer patients because of a higher rate of gastrointestinal perforations than in previous studies with Avastin.
Enrollment was stopped after reports of 5 gastrointestinal perforations in the first 44 patients enrolled in the proposed 53-patient study. Though it is already known that Avastin use can result in gastrointestinal perforation, "We chose to discontinue enrollment…due to the observation of a higher rate seen in this study than in other trials of Avastin in ovarian cancer or other tumor types," said Dr. Hal Barron of Genentech.