National Cancer Institute NCI Cancer Bulletin: A Trusted Source for Cancer Research News
March 24, 2009 • Volume 6 / Number 6

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Notes

In Memoriam: Former NCI Director Dr. Carl Baker

Dr. Carl Baker Dr. Carl Baker

Dr. Carl G. Baker, who served as NCI director from 1970 to 1972, died February 11 at the age of 88. He was head of the institute when the National Cancer Act of 1971 was passed, and during his 3 years as director NCI’s annual budget nearly tripled.

Dr. Baker received his undergraduate and medical degrees from the University of Louisville and a master’s degree in biochemistry from the University of California, Berkeley. He served as a Navy physician during World War II.

After a 23-year career at NIH, Dr. Baker left the institute in 1972 and became president of Hazelton Laboratories, a biotechnology research company. He subsequently was a senior official with the Health Resources Administration, and in 1976, he became medical director of the Ludwig Institute for Cancer Research, an international medical group in Zurich, Switzerland. He retired in 1982 but continued to serve on advisory panels and as a consultant for several years.

Dr. Baker reached the rank of rear admiral in the U.S. Public Health Service and received its Meritorious Service Medal. He served on the editorial boards of two cancer journals and was a director of the American Association for Cancer Research, director-at-large of the American Cancer Society, and a secretary of the American Chemical Society’s Division of Biological Chemistry.

CTCAE 4.0 Posted for Public Review

NCI’s Common Terminology Criteria for Adverse Events (CTCAE) version 3.0 is widely accepted throughout the oncology research community as the standard grading scale for defining protocol parameters such as maximum tolerated dose, dose modification, and comparison of safety profiles between interventions.

NCI’s Cancer Therapy Evaluation Program and Center for Bioinformatics have revised CTCAE version 3.0 to address terminology agreement with the Medical Dictionary for Regulatory Activities (MedDRA) terminology, integration with caBIG data systems, and long-term governance of CTCAE. A draft of CTCAE version 4.0 is available for public review at http://ctep.cancer.gov/ under “CTEP Highlights” through April 10. The site includes further information about the revision and instructions for submitting comments. Questions should be addressed to ctcae4@bah.com.

Free Telephone Workshop Series for Cancer Survivors

The seventh annual telephone workshop series, “Living With, Through, and Beyond Cancer,” begins April 14. This three-part series offers cancer survivors, their families, friends, and health care professionals practical information to help them cope with concerns and issues that arise after treatment ends.

The program is supported by NCI, CancerCare, the Lance Armstrong Foundation, the Intercultural Cancer Council, Living Beyond Breast Cancer, and the National Coalition for Cancer Survivorship.

The workshops are free; no telephone charges apply. To register, visit the CancerCare Web site at www.cancercare.org/TEW. All workshops will take place on Tuesdays from 1:30 p.m. to 2:30 p.m. EDT on the following dates:

  • Part I: “Managing the Stress of Survivorship,” April 14
  • Part II: “The Importance of Nutrition and Physical Activity,” May 19
  • Part III: “Survivors Too–Family, Friends, and Loved Ones: Managing the Fatigue of Caregiving,” June 23

The workshops are also archived and available as podcasts on the CancerCare Web site.

Registration Open for Neuropathic Cancer Pain Symposium

Artwork for NCI's Neuropathic Cancer Pain Symposium

NCI and the NIH Pain Consortium will host a Neuropathic Cancer Pain Symposium on April 27 in Bethesda, MD. The symposium will bring together a multidisciplinary group of researchers, clinicians, and patient advocates to build upon the knowledge and understanding of the role pain and pain management have in cancer care. Attendees will address the knowledge gap in the area of neuropathic pain associated with the underlying disease and cancer therapy. The symposium will feature plenary sessions, panel discussions, and opportunities for networking. For more information and to register visit the meeting Web site.

NCI Hosts International Art Exchange Exhibit

A 7-year-old leukemia patient from Istanbul, Turkey, drew this image. The artist explained, 'This is the picture of the 23rd of April. I danced with my classmates. I will never forget that day.' A 7-year-old leukemia patient from Istanbul, Turkey, drew this image. The artist explained, "This is the picture of the 23rd of April. I danced with my classmates. I will never forget that day."

On February 12, NCI’s Office of International Affairs (OIA) hosted the launch of an international art exchange exhibit, a collaborative effort between Tracy’s Kids Pediatric Art Therapy Program, NCI, and the Middle East Cancer Consortium (MECC). The exhibit highlights artwork by pediatric cancer patients and their family members at cancer centers in the United States, Jordan, Israel, Egypt, and Turkey.

Tracy’s Kids is a nonprofit organization affiliated with Georgetown University Medical Center’s Lombardi Comprehensive Cancer Center. MECC was begun in 1996 with NCI assistance, and its members include Cyprus, Egypt, Israel, Jordan, the Palestinian Authority, and Turkey. Attendees came from across the NCI community, the Lombardi Comprehensive Cancer Center, and local advocacy groups. The keynote speakers were Ms. Ruth Hoffman, executive director of Candlelighters Childhood Cancer Foundation, and her daughter, Naomi Bartley, a pediatric cancer survivor.

The artwork is on display at the NIH Visitor Information Center on the NIH campus until April 20. For more information, contact Ms. Isabel Otero at isotero@mail.nih.gov or 301-435-4434.

Robotic Surgery Featured in BenchMarks

The surgical suite where doctors are using a surgical robot called the 'da Vinci' to help remove the prostate and lymphnodes. This surgical technique has the potential for fewer side effects. (Image courtesy of Dr. Peter Pinto of NCI's Urologic Oncology Branch) The surgical suite where doctors are using a surgical robot called the "da Vinci" to help remove the prostate and lymphnodes. This surgical technique has the potential for fewer side effects. (Image courtesy of Dr. Peter Pinto of NCI's Urologic Oncology Branch)

In the latest issue of NCI’s BenchMarks, readers will learn about robot-assisted surgery for cancer, and specifically robotic prostatectomy. The issue includes two videos, one of a surgeon performing a radical prostatectomy and the second of a robot-assisted radical prostatectomy.


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