National Cancer Institute NCI Cancer Bulletin: A Trusted Source for Cancer Research News
October 5, 2010 • Volume 7 / Number 19

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NCI to Host Science Writers’ Seminar on Human Papillomavirus

On October 19, NCI will host a science writers’ seminar to discuss new research findings and future directions in human papillomavirus (HPV)-related cancer research. NCI experts Drs. Mark Schiffman, Diane Solomon, Allan Hildesheim, and John Schiller will discuss the natural history of HPV and HPV-related cancers, advances in screening techniques and tools, the role of vaccines and microbicides in prevention, and future research directions.

The seminar will run from 9:00 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. and include ample time for questions and answers and interaction during the talks.

Take part in the seminar online and dial-in toll-free for audio at 866-502-8312 (the passcode is 836302).

NCI Launches Next Phase of Nanotechnology Program

NCI has approved a second phase of its Alliance for Nanotechnology in Cancer initiative, which aims to leverage nanotechnology to improve the diagnosis, treatment, and prevention of cancer. The Institute has awarded multi-institution grants totaling approximately $30 million per year for the next 5 years.

In the last 5 years, Alliance researchers have discovered and developed a host of novel nanotechnologies for use in diagnosis, imaging, and therapeutics. Several of these innovations are being tested in clinical trials and some are undergoing commercialization.

The next phase of the Alliance initiative consists of newly selected Centers of Cancer Nanotechnology Excellence and Cancer Nanotechnology Platform Partnerships. The centers and platforms are focused on advancing new nanotechnology discoveries into clinical applications that are relevant to cancer. Two new components, the Pathway to Independence Awards in Cancer Nanotechnology Research and the Cancer Nanotechnology Training Centers, will train the next generation of multidisciplinary cancer researchers in cancer biology, oncology, and principles of physics and engineering.

The Alliance also continues to support the Nanotechnology Characterization Laboratory, the hub for preclinical characterization of nanomaterials, and to foster the development of nanotechnologies that are ready to be submitted as investigational new drugs or devices to the FDA.

NCI Awards Grants to Increase Public Awareness of Pediatric Cancers

NCI recently awarded five administrative supplements totaling over $1 million to programs that increase public awareness of pediatric cancer and available treatments and research. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services was authorized to provide the funds under the Caroline Pryce Walker Conquer Childhood Cancer Act of 2008.

The five funded programs will inform the public about the best available therapies and clinical trials, ensure access to information about the late effects of pediatric cancer treatment, and increase awareness of support services for parents and loved ones. Each grantee will partner with an advocacy organization to develop, review, and disseminate the final product.

Funding will go to:

  • Dr. James W. Dearing of the Kaiser Permanente Institute for Health Research, who is partnering with the Cancer Research Network
  • Dr. Judith Gasson of the Jonsson Comprehensive Cancer Center, who is partnering with the UCLA Department of Computer Science and Community Advisory Board
  • Dr. Charles Keller of the Oregon Health and Science University, who is partnering with the Northwest Sarcoma Foundation
  • Dr. Ana Navarro of the Comprehensive SDSU-UCSD Cancer Center Partnership
  • Dr. Gregory Reaman of the Cure Search for Children’s Cancer, who is partnering with the National Childhood Cancer Foundation

President’s Cancer Panel Discusses Future of the National Cancer Program

The President’s Cancer Panel held the first meeting of its 2010–2011 series, “The Future of Cancer Research: Accelerating Scientific Innovation,” on September 22, in Boston, MA.

The Panel brought together leaders in the research, health care, and advocacy communities, as well as government agency representatives and members of the public, to discuss the vision for the National Cancer Program over the next 15 years and how it can be enhanced. Speakers also identified principles that the stakeholders of the National Cancer Program should embrace in this new and exciting era of science.

Meeting participants agreed that continued investment in research will be critical to identify new ways to prevent and treat cancer and to improve the quality of life of those diagnosed with the disease. Speakers urged that the focus of cancer research should shift from treatment of the disease to prevention, and that radical changes to the clinical trials system are urgently needed to adapt to a swiftly evolving field of research, as well as to increase the speed and efficiency with which trials are initiated, conducted, and completed.

Speakers called for greater collaboration and enhanced communication across all sectors of the research community—among academic and industry settings, as well as government agencies—and stressed the need to more quickly translate research findings into beneficial treatments. Participants also highlighted the importance of continuing to involve advocates so that the interests of patients and the public remain at the forefront.

The next meeting in the series will be held on October 26, 2010, in Philadelphia. The agenda can be found on the Panel’s Web site. The Panel will summarize findings and recommendations from meetings of the 2010–2011 series in an annual report to the President of the United States.

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