National Cancer Institute NCI Cancer Bulletin: A Trusted Source for Cancer Research News
February 8, 2011 • Volume 8 / Number 3

Notes

DCTD Appoints New Chief to Monitor Clinical Trials

Gary Smith Gary Smith

Gary Smith was named the new chief of NCI's Clinical Trials Monitoring Branch (CTMB) in the Cancer Therapy Evaluation Program (CTEP) of the institute's Division of Cancer Treatment and Diagnosis (DCTD). Smith has been overseeing the branch in an acting capacity since the untimely death of the previous branch chief, Joan Mauer, last October.

Smith began his career as a medical technologist in the Hematology Service at the NIH Clinical Center and began working as a clinical trials monitoring specialist for CTEP in 1988. He became associate chief of CTMB in 2008. He earned a master's degree in general administration, with a concentration in health care administration, from the University of Maryland. He holds a bachelor's degree in medical technology from the University of Maryland School of Medicine.

National Cancer Advisory Board Holds First Meeting of 2011

The National Cancer Advisory Board held its first meeting of 2011 on February 8. In addition to the Director's Report delivered by Dr. Harold Varmus, the agenda included an update from the President's Cancer Panel; a report on new legislation related to cancer; a presentation on the inclusion of women and minorities in clinical research; a session on conflicts of interest in working with industry; an update on the status of recommendations from the Institute of Medicine that are being implemented for clinical trials; and an overview of The Nation's Investment in Cancer Research for FY 2012.

An archived videocast of the meeting will be available in a few days.

Experts Discuss National Cancer Communications Plan

The American Cancer Society (ACS), the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), and NCI will host a free live videocast of "Cancer Communication: State of the Science and Practice," on February 14 and 15. This first-ever joint ACS-CDC-NCI meeting on cancer communication will serve as the foundation upon which the three organizations will construct a national cancer control action plan.

A variety of cancer communication experts will discuss how to empower communities in cancer control, extend the reach and effectiveness of public health, engage consumers through networking and information technologies, and empower patients through clinical systems. On the second day, officials from the three organizations will provide their perspectives on next steps and priorities for the national cancer communication blueprint.

Members of the public are invited to take part in this unique dialogue. Go to www.CancerCommunicationConference.com to view the agenda before the meeting and return to the site on February 14 and 15 to watch the live videocast. There is no need to preregister. To join the conference on Twitter, follow @CancerComm2011—be sure to use the conference hash tag #cacomm2011 in your tweets. 

China and NIH Supplement Funding to Encourage Research Collaborations

NIH and the National Natural Science Foundation of China (NSFC) recently published corresponding funding announcements to encourage and support research cooperation between U.S. and Chinese scientists studying cancer, allergy, immunology, and infectious diseases, including HIV/AIDS and its comorbidities. NIH released an announcement for administrative supplements for U.S. collaborating investigators, and NSFC published an announcement for new 1-year projects from Chinese collaborating investigators. This initiative is part of a U.S.-China Program for Biomedical Research Cooperation that was recently established by NIH and NSFC.

U.S. and Chinese collaborating investigators will work together to develop corresponding applications to NIH and NSFC. Applications will be reviewed in parallel by both agencies using similar selection factors, and funding decisions will be made by both agencies according to research priorities of both countries. NIH has pledged to support up to $3 million in FY 2011 under this program, while NSFC has indicated that approximately 300,000 renminbi (Chinese currency) will be available per project to support Chinese collaborators.

Additional information and application instructions are available online.

Directory of Surveillance Data for Obesity Research Available

The National Collaborative on Childhood Obesity Research (NCCOR)—a joint project between the CDC, Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, NIH, and the U.S. Department of Agriculture—has released a Catalogue of Surveillance Systems containing local, state, and national data to help researchers study childhood obesity.

The catalogue is available online, provides access to 75 systems in the United States that contain data gathered in the last 10 years, and is designed to be updated with additional data systems that are identified as relevant in the future.

What You Need to Know About Cancer Booklets Updated

Three booklets in NCI's What You Need to Know (WYNTK) series have been updated:

WYNTK booklets are designed for patients who have been recently diagnosed with cancer and want to learn more about the disease. They are written in simple language and describe possible risks, symptoms, diagnosis, and treatment for different cancer types, and they also list questions that patients may want to ask their doctor. Booklets are posted online in html or PDF formats, and they can also be ordered in print.