DCTD's Sheila Taube Retires
Dr. Sheila Taube, of NCI's Division of Cancer Treatment and Diagnosis, retired on June 30 after serving as associate director of the Cancer Diagnosis Program (CDP) since 1997. During her nearly 25-year tenure at NCI, Dr. Taube helped advance personalized medicine approaches and technologies for detecting molecular markers for cancer.
Under Dr. Taube's guidance, CDP created the Program for the Assessment of Clinical Cancer Tests (PACCT) to translate new knowledge and technology related to cancer diagnosis into clinical practice. As part of PACCT, the first prospective trial using a molecular signature for risk of recurrence to guide treatment decisions in early stage breast cancer, the Trial Assigning IndividuaLized Options for Treatment (TAILORx), opened in 2006.
Dr. James Jacobson will act as the CDP associate director. Dr. Jacobson is chief of the Diagnostic Biomarkers and Technology Branch in CDP.
caBIG Annual Meeting Widely Attended
On June 23-25, nearly 1,500 researchers attended the fifth caBIG annual meeting in Washington, DC. Attendees learned about trends in molecular medicine and how to adopt and adapt caBIG tools and infrastructure to reach research goals.
The meeting program, materials from the plenary presentations, and a meeting summary are available at https://cabig.nci.nih.gov.
BSA Meeting Held
NCI's Board of Scientific Advisors (BSA) met June 23-24 on the NIH campus in Bethesda, MD. The public portions of the meeting can be viewed at http://videocast.nih.gov/PastEvents.asp.
Community Cancer Centers Program Begins Year 2 with National Meeting
Nearly 175 oncologists, principal investigators, nurses, key administrative and support personnel, and NCI staff involved with the NCI Community Cancer Centers Program (NCCCP) met June 26-27 in Arlington, VA, one year after the 3-year pilot program was launched. NCCCP links 16 community hospitals in an effort to bring high-quality cancer care to more Americans. Attendees discussed the progress and the challenges as the pilot moves into its second year. Key goals are to expand clinical trials recruitment, reduce cancer health disparities, expand the collection and use of biospecimens, and explore the utility of a national database of electronic health records.
Wallet Card Helps Doctors and Patients Stay Connected During Hurricane Season
NCI and the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) continue to pilot test a wallet card developed to help reconnect displaced patients and doctors in the Gulf Coast states after a natural disaster, like the devastating hurricanes of 2005. In such an emergency, the card guides cancer patients to ASCO's patient information Web site, Cancer.gov, NCI's Cancer Information Service (CIS) national toll-free number (1-800-4-CANCER), LiveHelp instant messaging service, and e-mail service available at http://www.cancer.gov/help.
The ongoing pilot study will continue during the 2008 hurricane season, and an evaluation of the pilot will help determine whether the program is expanded to cover other geographic areas or other potential disasters. The card lists the patient's name, diagnosis, current treatment, and doctor's contact information.NCI and ASCO encourage oncologists to discuss with their patients what to do in the event of a natural disaster. Oncology practices in the Gulf States can order copies of the card by calling the CIS at 1-800-4-CANCER (1-800-422-6237).