National Cancer Institute NCI Cancer Bulletin: A Trusted Source for Cancer Research News
December 15, 2009 • Volume 6 / Number 24

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Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center to Operate NCI's CIS Contact Center

On December 2, NCI selected the organization that will operate its Cancer Information Service (CIS) Contact Center. The program will be located at Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center in Seattle, WA, and will serve the United States, Puerto Rico, U.S. Virgin Islands, and the U.S.-associated Pacific Territories.

The contact center provides information to the public via the toll-free telephone number 1-800-4-CANCER, e-mail in English and Spanish, and LiveHelp instant messaging on NCI’s Web site. The CIS is the federal government’s source for the latest, most accurate cancer information for the public, patients and their families, and health professionals. For more than 30 years it has been providing up-to-date science-based information in easy-to-understand language. The center also provides smoking cessation counseling through NCI’s Smoking Quitline, 1-877-44U-QUIT. The contact center handles over 100,000 inquiries annually and has responded to over 10 million callers since its inception in 1976.

Application Deadlines Approach for Interagency Oncology Task Force Fellowships

FDA/NCI Interagency Oncology Task Force banner

The Interagency Oncology Task Force (IOTF), a joint initiative between NCI and the FDA, has announced fellowship training opportunities for Ph.D.s, M.D.s, and M.D./Ph.D.s or their equivalents in cancer-related scientific research and research-related regulatory review. 

The IOTF Joint Fellowship Program trains a core of scientists in cancer research and research-related regulatory review to develop skill sets that bridge the two distinct processes. During the program, fellows will:

  • Build awareness of regulatory requirements into the early stages of medical product development
  • Devise strategies to improve planning throughout the research and regulatory review phases
  • Learn how to bring state-of-the-art knowledge and technology to bear on the design, conduct, and review of clinical trials

“We believe that physicians and scientists who are highly trained in the regulatory process, and who also have an understanding of the inner workings of NCI and FDA, will be able to facilitate and speed the development and approval process for drugs, especially for chemotherapy,” said Dr. Jonathan Wiest, director of NCI’s Center for Cancer Training.

Fellowship programs are available for various career levels and vary in length between 1 and 4 years. View each program’s Web page for more information:

Clinical Oncology Product Research/Review for Oncology Fellows
Application deadline: January 31, 2010
Earliest start date: July, 2010

Clinical Oncology Product Research/Review for Board Certified (BC) Oncologists
Application deadline: January 31, 2010
Earliest start date: July, 2010

Oncology Product Research/Review Fellows
Application deadline: May 30, 2010
Earliest start date: September, 2010

Cancer Prevention Fellows
Application deadline: September 1, 2010
Earliest start date: July, 2011

The IOTF was established to enhance and accelerate the overall process of developing new cancer diagnostics and therapeutics and speed their delivery to patients.  More information about the program fellowships can be found at

President's Cancer Panel Examines Race and Cancer Burden

President’s Cancer Panel logo

The President’s Cancer Panel held the third meeting of its 2009–2010 series, “America’s Demographic and Cultural Transformation: Implications for the Cancer Enterprise,” on December 9 in Wilmington, DE. The panel heard testimony on differences in cancer burden, type, and causes across various races and ethnic groups. Speakers noted that racial categories were based on political constructs rather than biological fact and cited as evidence molecular differences in cancer that do not follow racial boundaries. Lack of access to care, inconsistent delivery of care, language barriers, and socioeconomic disparities were cited as major factors contributing to the unequal cancer burden. Speakers suggested the current approach to medicine based on racial categories negatively impacts patient health; speakers recommended moving towards a personalized approach to medicine based on the patient’s individual history and risk factors, rather than on risk factors associated with a patient’s race.

The panel will consider speaker recommendations in writing their 2009–2010 report to the President. The panel will hear additional testimony on the effects of the changing U.S. population on cancer care and research at their final meeting of the series in Miami, FL, on February 2, 2010.

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