Cancer Letter, 2012 September 28

September 28, 2012

The September 28, 2012 issue of Cancer Letter has been posted


AAMC News and Leadership Announcements, 2012 September 24

September 24, 2012

Here are the highlights from the current issue:

The New York Times, in an article scheduled to appear in Monday’s print edition, reports, “In findings that are fundamentally reshaping the scientific understanding of breast cancer, researchers have identified four genetically distinct types of the cancer. And within those types, they found hallmark genetic changes that are driving many cancers. These discoveries are expected to lead to new treatments with drugs already approved for cancers in other parts of the body and new ideas for more precise treatments aimed at genetic aberrations that now have no known treatment.” The study was released by Nature on Sunday and “…is the first comprehensive genetic analysis of breast cancer, which kills more than 35,000 women a year in the United States. The new paper, and several smaller recent studies, are electrifying the field.”

http://tinyurl.com/9urfelh <http://echo4.bluehornet.com/ct/17859417:20473413305:m:1:1612442508:A29BB80FDF76E0052A0F6556947063E3:r>

http://www.nature.com/nature/journal/vaop/ncurrent/full/nature11412.html <http://echo4.bluehornet.com/ct/17859418:20473413305:m:1:1612442508:A29BB80FDF76E0052A0F6556947063E3:r>

Sunday’s issue of the Baltimore Sun featured a lengthy article about recent litigation involving gene patents and whether the decision will limit the promise of personalized medicine.

http://tinyurl.com/9kjodfy <http://echo4.bluehornet.com/ct/17859421:20473413305:m:1:1612442508:A29BB80FDF76E0052A0F6556947063E3:r>

NIH on Friday announced the launch a new “Proactive Financial Conflict of Interest (FCOI) Compliance Program” to assess institutional implementation and compliance with the 2011 Revised Federal FCOI regulatory requirements pertaining to NIH grants and cooperative agreements. According to the notice, “In addition to providing oversight, the FCOI Compliance Program will assist grantees in fully developing and implementing their FCOI policies by providing assistance in the form of constructive feedback. The objective of this initial phase of the FCOI Compliance Program is to obtain and evaluate publicly accessible FCOI policies for a sample of NIH grantee institutions; however, the identity of participating institutions and correspondence with NIH will remain confidential. As with other compliance programs, if deficient areas are noted, institutions will be expected to formally address and resolve all identified issues.”

http://grants.nih.gov/grants/guide/notice-files/NOT-OD-12-159.html <http://echo4.bluehornet.com/ct/17859422:20473413305:m:1:1612442508:A29BB80FDF76E0052A0F6556947063E3:r>

Jeffrey Beall, Scholarly Initiatives Librarian at the University of Colorado Denver, wrote an essay in last week’s issue of Nature asserting that predatory publishers are corrupting open access. Mr. Beall writes that predatory publishers are those “which publish counterfeit journals to exploit the open-access model in which the author pays. These predatory publishers are dishonest and lack transparency. They aim to dupe researchers, especially those inexperienced in scholarly communication. They set up websites that closely resemble those of legitimate online publishers, and publish journals of questionable and downright low quality. Many purport to be headquartered in the United States, United Kingdom, Canada or Australia but really hail from Pakistan, India or Nigeria.” He reports that some of these sham journals list reputable researchers “as members of editorial boards without their knowledge or permission.”

http://tinyurl.com/8htsoql <http://echo4.bluehornet.com/ct/17859426:20473413305:m:1:1612442508:A29BB80FDF76E0052A0F6556947063E3:r>

And finally…Thomas R. Frieden, MD, MPH, Director, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, appeared on Saturday’s episode of National Public Radio’s “Wait, Wait, Don’t Tell Me!” Dr. Frieden played “Try to Stop These Viruses!” While he officially lost, he was a good sport.

http://tinyurl.com/kxht8 <http://echo4.bluehornet.com/ct/17859437:20473413305:m:1:1612442508:A29BB80FDF76E0052A0F6556947063E3:r>

The full list of announcements is below.

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AAMC News and Leadership Announcements, 2012 September 21

September 21, 2012

Here are the highlights from the current issue:

The Association for the Accreditation of Human Research Protections Programs (AAHRPP) has scheduled a webinar titled, “IRB Review of Research Involving Adults with Diminished Capacity to Consent,” on October 23 from 8:00-9:30 a.m. ET and repeated on October 25 from 3:30-5:00 p.m. ET. The session will describe the AAHRPP requirements for research involving participants with diminished capacity to consent, what researchers should know and plan for, and how IRBs should review and approve such research.

http://www.aahrpp.org/www.aspx?PageID=349

NIH on Tuesday posted the following notice of special interest to research administrators: “As NIH’s fiscal year comes to a close on September 30, 2012, NIH encourages grantee officials to verify the accuracy of the FY2012 award information reflected in NIH systems to ensure the most complete and accurate information is reflected in FY12 reports. Any corrections to the data must be received by 5:00 PM EST Thursday, October 4, 2012 to be reflected in NIH reports.”
http://grants.nih.gov/grants/guide/notice-files/NOT-OD-12-155.html

The New England Journal of Medicine on Thursday posted a new study that concluded, “Physicians discriminate among trials of varying degrees of rigor, but industry sponsorship negatively influences their perception of methodologic quality and reduces their willingness to believe and act on trial findings, independently of the trial’s quality. These effects may influence the translation of clinical research into practice.” The editor of the NEJM, Dr. Jeffrey Drazen, wrote a related editorial. On Thursday, Pharmalot posted an essay by Harlan Krumholz, M.D., of Yale School of Medicine, on how industry can restore faith in studies it sponsors.
http://tinyurl.com/97u23sm
http://tinyurl.com/c6bg4lv
http://tinyurl.com/cskz8fx

Nature on Wednesday reported, “For researchers who rely on lab animals shipped from distant sources, and for the companies that breed them, the options are narrowing again. This week, People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) will announce that it has obtained written assurances from the world’s two largest air-cargo carriers, FedEx and UPS, that they will not transport mammals for laboratory use. UPS says that it is also planning to further ‘restrict’ an exemption that allows the transport of amphibians, fish, insects and other non-mammals.” In a related editorial, Nature wrote, “The bid to halt air transport of lab animals poses an imminent threat to biomedical research.”
http://www.nature.com/news/lab-animal-flights-squeezed-1.11433
http://www.nature.com/news/return-to-sender-1.11429

The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center on Friday announced the launch of “the Moon Shots Program, an unprecedented effort to dramatically accelerate the pace of converting scientific discoveries into clinical advances that reduce cancer deaths.” According to an MD Anderson press release, “The program, initially targeting eight cancers, will bring together sizable multidisciplinary groups of MD Anderson researchers and clinicians to mount comprehensive attacks on: acute myeloid leukemia/myelodysplastic syndrome; chronic lymphocytic leukemia; melanoma; lung cancer; prostate cancer, and triple-negative breast and ovarian cancers – two cancers linked at the molecular level. Six moon shot teams, representing these eight cancers, were selected based on rigorous criteria that assess not only the current state of scientific knowledge of the disease across the entire cancer care continuum from prevention to survivorship, but also the strength and breadth of the assembled teams and the potential for near-term measurable success in terms of cancer mortality.” According to the release, “In the first 10 years, the cost of the Moon Shots Program may reach an estimated $3 billion. Those funds will come from institutional earnings, philanthropy, competitive research grants and commercialization of new discoveries. They will not interrupt MD Anderson’s vast research program in all cancers, with a budget of approximately $700 million annually.”
http://tinyurl.com/9h4p7bs

The National Institutes of Health announced on Wednesday it will invest $14.3 million this year, potentially investing more than $51.4 million over five years, to accelerate an emerging field of biomedical research known as metabolomics, the study of metabolites. Funding will come from the NIH Common Fund. Three Regional Comprehensive Metabolomics Resource Cores have been announced at the University of Michigan; UC, Davis; and the Research Triangle Institute. A Data Repository and Coordination Center (DRCC) has also being awarded to the University of California, San Diego.

http://www.nih.gov/news/health/sep2012/od-19.htm.

Our colleagues at the American Society for Microbiology have posted a useful summary of a September 5 Federal Register notice in which NIH published final revisions to the NIH Guidelines for Research Involving Recombinant DNA Molecules that 1) modify the scope of the NIH Guidelines to cover explicitly certain research with synthetic nucleic acids, and 2) clarify the criteria for NIH review of research involving the introduction of therapeutic drug resistance into microorganisms.
http://tinyurl.com/9gkfg6j

And finally…The legendary Ig Nobel Prizes were awarded on Thursday evening in Boston. The awards, which are in the 22nd year, “honor achievements that first make people laugh, and then make them think. The prizes are intended to celebrate the unusual, honor the imaginative — and spur people’s interest in science, medicine, and technology.” Among this year’s awards: the neuroscience prize went to Craig Bennett, Abigail Baird, Michael Miller, and George Wolford [USA], for demonstrating that brain researchers, by using complicated instruments and simple statistics, can see meaningful brain activity anywhere — even in a dead salmon; the literature prize went to the US government’s General Accountability Office, for issuing “a report about reports about reports that recommends the preparation of a report about the report about reports about reports”; the anatomy prize went to Frans de Waal [The Netherlands and USA] and Jennifer Pokorny [USA] for discovering that chimpanzees can identify other chimpanzees individually from seeing photographs of their rear ends; and the medicine prize went to Emmanuel Ben-Soussan and Michel Antonietti [France] for advising doctors who perform colonoscopies how to minimize the chance that their patients will explode.  The (Alfred) Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine for 2012 is scheduled to be annouced on Monday, October 8th.
http://www.improbable.com/ig/winners/#ig2012

The full list of announcements is below.

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Cancer Letter, 2012 September 21

September 21, 2012

The September 21, 2012 issue of Cancer Letter has been posted.


AAMC News and Leadership Announcements, 2012 September 18

September 18, 2012

Here are the highlights from the current issue:

The Office of Management and Budget (OMB) on Friday issued a report mandated by the Sequestration Transparency Act (STA) on the impact of January’s schedule sequestration. OMB estimates that under the assumptions required by the STA, the sequestration in January would result in a 9.4 percent reduction in non-exempt defense discretionary funding and an 8.2 percent reduction in non-exempt nondefense discretionary funding. The sequestration would also impose cuts of 2.0 percent to Medicare, 7.6 percent to other non-exempt nondefense mandatory programs, and 10.0 percent to non-exempt defense mandatory programs. Medicaid is exempt from the sequester. Dave Moore in AAMC government relations further reports:

+According to OMB, Medicare will face a reduction in $11.1 billion (an estimated $554.3 billion in Medicare spending is subject to the 2 percent reduction).

+For NIH, the report indicates that $30.711 billion in discretionary budget authority would be subject to the 8.2 percent sequester, equal to $2.518 billion, and an additional $150 million in mandatory budget authority (for diabetes research) would be subject to a 7.6 percent cut, equal to $11 million. The total cut to NIH would equal $2.529 billion.

+Funding for the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) is exempt from the sequester since it is provided through the evaluation tap as opposed to direct appropriations. However, the Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Trust Fund (which funds the Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute) would be subject to a 7.6 percent cut, amounting to $30 million from the $390 million fund in FY 2013.

+Funding for the VA Health Administration is exempt from sequestration.

A full report on the OMB estimates will appear in the next issue of AAMC Washington Highlights, posted on Friday afternoon.

http://tinyurl.com/8jes4hv <http://echo4.bluehornet.com/ct/17775752:20408849653:m:1:1612442508:08ADD88719BDE512A4A531DEFABD6451:r>

https://www.aamc.org/advocacy/washhigh/ <http://echo4.bluehornet.com/ct/17775753:20408849653:m:1:1612442508:08ADD88719BDE512A4A531DEFABD6451:r>

Tuesday’s Wall Street Journal reported on “bioprinting,” noting that “about a dozen major university and corporate laboratories, biomedical engineers are working on ways to print living human tissue, in the hope of one day producing personalized body parts and implants on demand. Still far from clinical use, these tissue-engineering experiments represent the next step in a process known as computerized adaptive manufacturing, in which industrial designers turn out custom prototypes and finished parts using inexpensive 3-D computer printers. Instead of extruding plastic, metal or ceramics, these medical printers squirt an ink of living cells.”

http://tinyurl.com/9l5kpky <http://echo4.bluehornet.com/ct/17775758:20408849653:m:1:1612442508:08ADD88719BDE512A4A531DEFABD6451:r>

The American Cancer Society on Monday released new data on cancer mortality and survivorship in the Hispanic community. Their data shows that cancer is now the leading killer of Hispanics, while heart disease remains the leading cause of death among whites and blacks. The report found, “Although Hispanics have a lower risk than whites or blacks for the most common types of cancer (lung, breast, prostate, and colon), they have a higher risk for cancers related to infectious agents…” The diversity of the Hispanic population is highlighted in the report.

http://tinyurl.com/9bqea2t <http://echo4.bluehornet.com/ct/17775766:20408849653:m:1:1612442508:08ADD88719BDE512A4A531DEFABD6451:r>

The New York Times on Monday reported on an on-line mentorship program intended to help guide women into the sciences.

http://tinyurl.com/8jvgshe <http://echo4.bluehornet.com/ct/17775767:20408849653:m:1:1612442508:08ADD88719BDE512A4A531DEFABD6451:r>

The full list of announcements is below.

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AAMC News and Leadership Announcements, 2012 September 14

September 17, 2012

Here are the highlights from the current issue:

NIH on Monday posted guidance to Public Health Service (PHS) grantee institutions on review and reporting requirements for departures from the Eighth Edition of the Guide for the Care and Use of Laboratory Animals (Guide). The notice clarifies the reporting requirements when investigators and institutions deviate from various types of “must” and “should” statements in the Guide.

http://grants.nih.gov/grants/guide/notice-files/NOT-OD-12-148.html <http://echo4.bluehornet.com/ct/17732739:20372688009:m:1:1612442508:AAE2EBD8F568C751228B58B14343C0AC:r>

At a packed Capitol Hill event on Thursday, the first annual Golden Goose Awards were presented. The awards showcase the human and economic benefits of federally funded research and highlight seemingly obscure or unusual studies that led to major breakthroughs and significant impacts on society. The awards went to scientists for their work on glowing jellyfish, radiation waves, and tropical coral.

http://www.goldengooseaward.org/ <http://echo4.bluehornet.com/ct/17732742:20372688009:m:1:1612442508:AAE2EBD8F568C751228B58B14343C0AC:r>

An article in Tuesday’s New York Times discussed research collaborations involving physicians and veterinarians working at both human and animal hospitals. The article reported, “Exchanges of this sort are becoming increasingly common. Once a narrow trail traveled by a few hardy pioneers, the road connecting veterinary colleges and human medical institutions has become a busy thoroughfare over the last five years or so, with a steady flow of researchers representing a wide variety of medical disciplines on both sides. One reason is a growing frustration with the inefficiency of using the rodent model in lab research, which often fails to translate to human subjects. So researchers are turning their attention to the naturally occurring diseases in dogs, horses, sheep and pigs, whose physiology and anatomy more closely resemble those of humans.”

http://tinyurl.com/9x7sbx2 <http://echo4.bluehornet.com/ct/17732745:20372688009:m:1:1612442508:AAE2EBD8F568C751228B58B14343C0AC:r>

AAAS has produced a new guide: “Facilitating Interdisciplinary Research and Education: A Practical Guide.” The Guide was written in partnership with the University of Colorado Biofrontiers Institute and provides a set of “best practices” for scholars, administrators, and funders who are starting, managing, and supporting interdisciplinary research and education programs.

http://www.aaas.org/cspsp/interdisciplinary/guide/ <http://echo4.bluehornet.com/ct/17732752:20372688009:m:1:1612442508:AAE2EBD8F568C751228B58B14343C0AC:r>

The U.S. Preventive Services Task Force on Monday released a recommendation against screening for ovarian cancer in women. The final recommendation on this topic applies to women who show no signs or symptoms of the disease and do not have known genetic mutations (such as BRCA1 and BRCA2) that put them at increased risk for the disease.

http://www.uspreventiveservicestaskforce.org/uspstf12/ovarian/ovarcancerbulletin.pdf <http://echo4.bluehornet.com/ct/17732760:20372688009:m:1:1612442508:AAE2EBD8F568C751228B58B14343C0AC:r>

A nationwide patient safety project funded by the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) reduced the rate of central line-associated bloodstream infections (CLABSIs) in intensive care units by 40 percent, according to the agency’s preliminary findings of the largest national effort to combat CLABSIs to date. The project used the Comprehensive Unit-based Safety Program (CUSP) to achieve its landmark results that include preventing more than 2,000 CLABSIs, saving more than 500 lives and avoiding more than $34 million in health care costs. The agency and key project partners from the American Hospital Association (AHA) and Johns Hopkins Medicine discussed the findings at the AHRQ annual conference on Monday and introduced the CUSP toolkit that helped hospitals accomplish this marked reduction.

http://www.ahrq.gov/news/press/pr2012/pspclabsipr.htm <http://echo4.bluehornet.com/ct/17732761:20372688009:m:1:1612442508:AAE2EBD8F568C751228B58B14343C0AC:r>

The full list of announcements is below.

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Stem Cells Research News, 2012 Sept. 17

September 17, 2012

The September 17 issue of Stem Cell Research News has been posted