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The Cancer Letter Inc.
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DC 20016
Tel: 202-362-1809
Fax: 202-379-1787
publication date: Apr 15, 2016
ISSUE 15 - April 15, 2016 PDF

Parker Bets $250 Million on Immunotherapy

A foundation established by Silicon Valley entrepreneur Sean Parker—founder of Napster and first president of Facebook—has committed $250 million to research in cancer immunotherapy.

The newly founded Parker Institute for Cancer Immunotherapy brings together immunologists from Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, Stanford University, UCLA, UCSF, MD Anderson Cancer Center and the University of Pennsylvania.


Conversation with The Cancer Letter

Parker Mantra: Collaborate Like Hell

The Cancer Letter invited Jedd Wolchok, associate attending physician and chief of the Melanoma and Immunotherapeutics Service at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, to describe the workings of the just-announced Parker Institute for Cancer Immunotherapy.

      Slamming the Door

      Part X - Silencing Faculty Voice

      In the fall of 2012, just before Al Gilman’s departure, MD Anderson officials cracked down on internal critics.

      On Sept. 26, 2012, Raphael Pollock, head of MD Anderson’s Division of Surgery, was summoned to the office of Thomas Burke, then the executive vice president and physician-in-chief, and was relieved of his duties.

      Pollock, who is Jewish, was fired on Yom Kippur, the Day of Atonement.

      Letter to the Editor

      Former MD Anderson Provost Reflects on "Brief, Painful Episode"

      By Raymond DuBois

      Over the past several weeks, The Cancer Letter has been running a series of articles that report on a past conflict between people at The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center and Nobel Laureate Al Gilman, who led the scientific review teams of the then newly formed Cancer Prevention and Research Institute of Texas.

      At the time of the controversy, I was the founding provost and executive vice president at the MD Anderson Cancer Center, a position I enjoyed greatly. While I have no desire to revisit this brief, and somewhat painful episode in my academic career, I have been written into Goldberg’s Texas drama as an important bit player and therefore feel compelled to go on record and provide my view of the story.

      FDA Inspects Hospitals for Morcellation Harm;
      Congressman Draws VP Biden's Attention to Issue

      FDA has conducted inspections of several hospitals—including Brigham & Women’s Hospital—based on allegations that physicians and administrators did not report patient harm and deaths resulting from power morcellators.

      In a March 29 letter to Rep. Mike Fitzpatrick (R-Pa.), the agency said it “takes these issues very seriously.”

      “In recent months, we have conducted inspections of hospitals highlighted in your letter, including Brigham & Women’s Hospital, Rochester General Hospital, and the University of Rochester Medical Center,” FDA officials wrote, responding to a Dec. 18, 2015, letter from Fitzpatrick to the agency’s Office of Criminal Investigations.

      Stand Up to Cancer Debuts Catalyst Research Program With Merck, BMS and Genentech

      Stand Up to Cancer announced Catalyst, a program that will use funding and materials from the pharmaceutical, biotechnology, diagnostic and medical devices industries to accelerate research on cancer prevention, detection and treatment.

      Founding collaborator Merck; and Bristol-Myers Squibb, and Genentech, a member of the Roche Group, will serve as charter supporters.

      In Brief
      • Jeffrey Sosman named director of melanoma program at Northwestern

      • Eric Dishman named director of NIH Precision Medicine Initiative Cohort Program

      • Ed Sauter named director of breast surgery at Hartford HealthCare Cancer Institute

      • Maya Martinez-Davis appointed global head of oncology franchise at Merck KGaA
      • Lynn Matrisian named chief research officer for the Pancreatic Cancer Action Network

      • Karin Jooss named chief scientific officer of Gritstone Oncology

      • USPSTF publishes B recommendation for low-dose aspirin regimen for primary prevention of colorectal cancer and cardiovascular disease

      • International Myeloma Foundation to fund large screening study in Iceland

      • MD Anderson Cancer Center dedicates new personalized medicine building

      • UC Davis and Novogene establish campus genomics center

      • University of Florida signs proton therapy contract with Ion Beam Applications
      Drugs and Targets
      • FDA grants accelerated approval to Venclexta in CLL

      • FDA approved Epi proColon blood screening test

      • FDA granted priority review for atezolizumab in NSCLC


      Copyright (c) 2016 The Cancer Letter Inc.