National Cancer Institute NCI Cancer Bulletin: A Trusted Source for Cancer Research News
February 7, 2012 • Volume 9 / Number 3

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NCI Wins Two Awards for Tech Transfer Excellence

Two NCI projects have won the Award for Excellence in Technology Transfer from the Federal Laboratory Consortium for Technology Transfer (FLC). The award is given annually to recognize employees of FLC labs who have accomplished outstanding work while transferring federally developed technology to the private sector.

Federal Laboratories Consortium banner

The first project is a software package used to analyze DNA microarray data. The program brings state-of-the-art statistical and machine learning methodology to investigators. It has been licensed by more than 13,000 laboratories in 65 countries and cited in more than 1,700 publications.

Designed as a Microsoft Excel add-in, the program has a familiar interface but is powerful enough to analyze thousands of expression profiles for 50,000 probes. The software was designed by Dr. Richard Simon, chief of the Biometric Research Branch of the Division of Cancer Treatment and Diagnosis (DCTD) and transferred to the scientific community by NCI’s Technology Transfer Center using an online distribution system.

The second award was for NCI’s role, spearheaded by DCTD’s Natural Products Branch, in the development of eribulin, an anticancer agent derived from a marine sponge. The drug was developed in partnership with the pharmaceutical company Eisai and was given FDA priority approval in November 2010 for the treatment of patients with metastatic breast cancer.

Kevin White to Speak on Genomic Networks in Development and Cancer

NCI's Center for Cancer Genomics will host a special lecture by Dr. Kevin White, director of the University of Chicago’s Institute for Genomics and Systems Biology, on February 14 at 1:00 p.m. His presentation, titled “Genomic Networks in Development and Cancer: Resolving Biomarkers and Therapeutic Targets from a Cloud of Data,” will be held in Lipsett Auditorium on the NIH campus in Bethesda, MD.

Dr. White is a pioneer in combining experimental and computational techniques to understand the factors that control biological systems during development and evolution. He will talk about how his lab uses systems-level approaches to construct abstract molecular networks to make predictions about genetic and biochemical functions in cells, organisms, and disease states.

Dr. White’s team is mining data from The Cancer Genome Atlas and the Chicago Cancer Genome Project and using the Bionimbus Cloud to identify new tumor suppressor genes and panels of genetic markers.

More information about the lecture is available online. To watch a live videocast, visit

NCI to Hold Symposium on Translational Genomics

Registration is open for the Second Symposium on Translational Genomics sponsored by the NCI Center of Excellence in Integrative Cancer Biology and Genomics. The event will take place March 15–16 in Natcher Auditorium, on the NIH campus in Bethesda, MD.

The field of translational genomics is progressing rapidly, yet systematically applying current knowledge to improve patient care remains a formidable challenge. At the symposium, participants will exchange information on noncoding RNAs, next-generation sequencing, and epigenomics and genetic variation. The goal is to translate these advances into clinical practice and implement them to improve the health of patients with cancer.

To view a list of speakers and to register, visit the symposium’s webpage. Registration is free but seating is limited. For additional information please contact Laura Hooper at

New Issue of CCR Connections Published

Cover of CCR Connections, vol. 5, no. 2

The latest issue of NCI’s Center for Cancer Research (CCR) news magazine, CCR Connections, is now available online. This issue highlights the broad reach of CCR’s translational research and showcases its collaborations with intramural and extramural partners, domestic and global, to quickly turn CCR discoveries into clinical advances.

The issue includes stories on:

  • Dr. Thomas Waldmann’s co-discovery of interleukin-15 and its use in clinical trials through CCR’s Center of Excellence in Immunology
  • The role that nurses play in bringing experimental approaches and cancer treatments into patient trials and clinical practice
  • Dr. Chand Khanna’s idea for a consortium of veterinary schools that treat cancers in pets to help accelerate new treatments for humans
  • Dr. Michael Dean’s vacation to Guatemala that developed into an international collaboration to study the molecular mechanisms involved in pediatric cancers, especially genetic risk factors for acute lymphoblastic leukemia
  • Drs. Peter Choyke and Peter Pinto’s adaptation of magnetic imaging to guide robotic surgery for prostate cancer

For a print or online subscription to CCR Connections, please send a request to

Smartphone App to Help Teens Quit Smoking Now Available

QuitSTART Screenshot

Teen smokers who want to quit can now download QuitSTART from the Apple App Store for free. QuitSTART is an interactive mobile quit guide for teens that delivers cessation and mood management tips and tracks cravings and progress towards quitting.

The new app is part of Smokefree Teen, an NCI initiative launched in December 2011 to help teens quit smoking.

SmokefreeTXT, a free text-message service that is part of Smokefree Teen, also provides encouragement, advice, and tips to teens trying to quit smoking.

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