NCI Cancer Bulletin: A Trusted Source for Cancer Research NewsNCI Cancer Bulletin: A Trusted Source for Cancer Research News
October 11, 2005 • Volume 2 / Number 39 E-Mail This Document  |  Download PDF  |  Bulletin Archive/Search  |  Subscribe

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Science Writers' Seminar Illuminates Behavioral Aspects of Cancer
The NCI Science Writers' Seminar on October 5 at Fox Chase Comprehensive Cancer Center in Philadelphia attracted about 40 attendees, including journalists from the Wilmington News Journal, National Public Radio, and People and Philadelphia magazines. Dr. Michael Stefanek of NCI and Drs. Mary Daly, Suzanne Miller, and Neal Meropol of Fox Chase discussed the different ways in which physicians and patients react to, communicate, and make decisions about a diagnosis of cancer. Dr. Miller's presentation, about the extent to which people ignore or amplify information about cancer threats, drew a number of questions from the audience. The archived webcast is available for viewing at

Roberts and Sporn Share 2005 Komen Foundation Award
The 2005 Susan G. Komen Foundation Brinker Award for Distinguished Science in the area of basic research has been awarded to Drs. Anita Roberts and Michael Sporn for their joint research on the cytokine transforming growth factor-beta (TGF-β). Between 1976 and 1995, Drs. Roberts and Sporn worked together, discovered, and characterized TGF-β, and later established roles for this peptide in autoimmune disease, fibrogenesis, carcinogenesis, and wound healing. Their research is now providing the foundation for new therapeutic strategies.

Dr. Roberts joined NCI in 1976 and served as chief of the Laboratory of Cell Regulation and Carcinogenesis in CCR from 1995 to 2004. Dr. Sporn was with NCI for more than 30 years, and now is the Oscar M. Cohn Professor of Pharmacology and Toxicology and of Medicine at Dartmouth Medical School.

caBIG Draws Industry Interest at Partners Meeting
More than 200 representatives from biomedical and informatics companies attended the first industry partners meeting of NCI's cancer Biomedical Informatics Grid (caBIG). The September 30 meeting was convened to discuss and encourage involvement by the commercial and industrial sectors in the caBIG program. Dr. Ken Buetow, director of NCI's Center for Bioinformatics, told industry representatives, "We need and want you to be part of caBIG. We realize that this can't be just an academic-centered enterprise."

Other speakers provided an overview of current and proposed caBIG tools and discussed how commercial software companies can make their products compatible with caBIG standards. Dr. Robert Beck, chief information officer at Fox Chase, noted that his and other NCI-designated Cancer Centers are already big customers of private-sector vendors. "The capability for 'plug and play' with caBIG architecture is a requirement for us to adopt new tools and programs offered by industry," he said. "If vendors aren't responsive, that will really restrict their ability to do business with us going forward."

Leischow Returns to Arizona Cancer Center
After 5 years with NCI, Dr. Scott Leischow has resigned effective October 31. He has accepted the position of a deputy director of the Arizona Cancer Center.

While at NCI, Dr. Leischow served as chief of the Tobacco Control Research Branch and later as acting associate director of the Behavioral Research Branch in the Division of Cancer Control and Population Sciences. Since 2004, Dr. Leischow has been on detail to the Office of the Secretary, Department of Health and Human Services, serving as senior advisor for tobacco policy.

Before coming to NCI, Dr. Leischow was codirector of the Arizona Cancer Center's Biobehavioral Oncology Research Program. He received his undergraduate degree in psychology from the University of Wisconsin-Parkside, earned his M.A. and Ph.D. in health education from the University of Maryland, and completed a postdoctoral fellowship in behavioral pharmacology at Johns Hopkins University.

SEER Web Site Redesigned
The NCI Surveillance, Epidemiology, and End Results (SEER) program's Web site ( has been re-designed. The site is now more user-friendly, with improved search engine results based on feedback from surveys and e-mails. The new design allows users to more easily navigate the site using tabs across the top of every page. SEER's products and resources have been categorized into key areas for easier access.

The home page provides quick access to key cancer statistics through the printer-friendly Cancer Stat Facts, Fast Stats, the latest reports and monographs, and current releases of software and data. In addition, the SEER home page and the pages of key areas include a link for "Resources Beyond SEER" to help users find additional information.