Duke Cancer Institute Blog http://dukecancerinstitute.org/nursingblog/rss.xml en CTSA Program Diversity And Re-Entry Research Supplements To UL1 Awards (11.1.19) http://dukecancerinstitute.org/ctsa-program-diversity-and-re-entry-research-supplements-ul1-awards-11119 Funding Agency: Duke CTSI Applications are open for CTSA Program Diversity and Re-Entry Research Supplements to UL1 Awards. The CTSA Program is committed to improving the diversity of the workforce and to supporting re-entry into active research careers for those individuals that have taken an eligible hiatus from research. We would like to take this opportunity to highlight some of our outstanding program awardees who have used the supplement to advance their careers and fulfill their research objectives. As a reminder, the CTSA Program supports Diversity and Re-Entry Research Supplements to active and eligible UL1 grants through the following funding opportunity announcements (FOAs):  PA-18-906: Research Supplements to Promote Diversity in Health-Related Research PA-18-592: Supplements to Promote Re-Entry into Biomedical and Behavioral Research Careers NCATS specific guidance and more information Application Deadline: November 1, 2019   Tue, 10/22/2019 - 21:00 Duke CTSI /news/ctsa-program-diversity-and-re-entry-research-supplements-ul1-awards-11119 KL2 Scholars (11.25.19) http://dukecancerinstitute.org/kl2-scholars-112519 Funding Agency: Duke CTSI Applications are open for KL2 Scholars, a mentored research career development program for junior faculty. Eligibility: Junior Faculty Application Deadline: Nov. 25, 2019 More Information  Tue, 10/22/2019 - 20:53 Duke CTSI /news/kl2-scholars-112519 CTSA TL1 Physician Fellowship (1.13.20) http://dukecancerinstitute.org/ctsa-tl1-physician-fellowship-11320 Funding Agency: Duke CTSI Applications are open for the CTSA TL1 Physician Research Fellowship. The Duke CTSA TL1 physician fellowship is a two-year training program that aims to provide two years of funded time to support the research training of physician-scientists. Eligibility: All eligible physician trainees may apply, but we have particular interest in applicants who are interested in broadening their previous training to include a new category of research methodology (e.g., applicants with a bench science background looking to gain training in translational or clinical research, or vice versa). We also have particular interest in applicants looking to obtain training in data science methodology. Application Deadline: Jan. 13, 2020 More Information Tue, 10/22/2019 - 20:47 Duke CTSI /news/ctsa-tl1-physician-fellowship-11320 Faculty Teaching/Research Enhancement Grants (10.31.19) http://dukecancerinstitute.org/faculty-teachingresearch-enhancement-grants-103119 Funding Agency: Duke University Office of the Provost The Duke University Office of the Provost is offering support to Duke faculty to acquire skills, knowledge, or experiences outside of or beyond their main discipline or to underwrite a trip to scope out a new direction for research. Funding Amount: Funds awarded will most likely fall within the range of $2,000 to $5,000. Application Deadline: October 31, 2019 For more information: Faculty Teaching/Research Enhancement Grants (FTREG) Tue, 10/22/2019 - 20:40 /news/faculty-teachingresearch-enhancement-grants-103119 Regeneration Next Initiative Offers Fellowships (3.15.20) http://dukecancerinstitute.org/regeneration-next-initiative-offers-fellowships-31520 Funding Agency: Regeneration Next Initiative (RNI) The initiative was established by the Duke University School of Medicine to enhance discovery and applications in the broad field of tissue regeneration. The Regeneration Next Initiative (RNI) is pleased to announce availability of funding to support up to four fellowships to help recruit and fund new (or recently hired) postdoctoral researchers at Duke. We invite letters of intent from faculty members who are recruiting or have very recently hired new postdoctoral trainees, and who propose research in the broad field of tissue regeneration. Letters of intent do not need to be formal. The anticipated start date of July 1, 2020. Funding Amount: This fellowship provides two-year total funds of up to $115,000 toward the trainee’s salary and benefits. No other expenses will be supported. Application Deadline: March 15, 2020. More Information   Tue, 10/22/2019 - 20:30 Duke School of Medicine /news/regeneration-next-initiative-offers-fellowships-31520 Kendra Gives Back Reception For IBC (11.2.19) http://dukecancerinstitute.org/kendra-gives-back-reception-ibc-11219 Kendra Scott is hosting a "Kendra Gives Back" reception on Saturday, Nov. 2, from 12 p.m. to 2 p.m. at its shop at the Streets at Southpoint, located at 8030 Renaissance Parkway, in Durham. The event features sips and sweets. Twenty percent of all sales will be donated to the Duke Consortium for Inflammatory Breast Cancer. Virtual Invite Download Flyer Tue, 10/22/2019 - 20:07 Julie Poucher Harbin /news/kendra-gives-back-reception-ibc-11219 New Approach To Shutting Down Breast Cancer Recurrence Promising http://dukecancerinstitute.org/new-approach-shutting-down-breast-cancer-recurrence-promising Drug shuts down a pathway tumor cells use to become resistant to hormone therapies A new approach to treat advanced breast cancer shuts down the growth of cells that become resistant to standard hormone therapy, according to Duke Cancer Institute animal studies. The research, which is likely to be tested in clinical trials within the year, identified and targeted vulnerabilities that appear in nearly all estrogen-positive breast cancers that develop resistance to current treatments. “My father was an engineer and always said, ‘Let the reproducible problem in a system be the first step in its solution,’” said Donald McDonnell, Ph.D., chair of the Department of Pharmacology and Cancer Biology at Duke and lead author of a study published online Oct. 22 in the journal Cell Reports. “For breast cancer, the reproducible problem is the development of resistance to therapeutics,” McDonnell said. “Rather than try to reverse or block the process of resistance, we took the approach that as tumors become resistant, they unwittingly expose new vulnerabilities that we can target.” McDonnell and colleagues analyzed cellular and mouse models of estrogen-positive breast cancer, which accounts for about 80 percent of all breast cancers. They identified a universal pathway used by tumors to outmaneuver both tamoxifen and aromatase inhibitors.  Using both pharmacological and biochemical approaches, they were able to inhibit the activity of this pathway and block the growth of recurrent breast tumors in mice. Humanized antibodies directed against these targets are in late-stage pre-clinical development and are expected to be in clinical trials shortly.  “This is a new approach,” McDonnell said. “Typically we try to figure out what causes drug resistance and then develop ways to block these processes, but invariably another resistance mechanism kicks in and tumors continue to grow.  “In our study we looked for new therapeutic targets that emerged as cancer cells tried to circumvent tamoxifen or aromatase inhibitors and used this information to develop two new approaches to inhibit the emergence of resistance or treat cancers that had already become resistant to standard endocrine therapies,” McDonnell said. In addition to McDonnell, study authors include Kimberly Julie Cocce, Jeffrey S. Jasper, Taylor K. Desautels, Logan J. Everett, Suzanne E. Wardell, Thomas Westerling, Robert Baldi, Tricia M. Wright, Kendall Taveres, Alex Yllanes, Yeeyun Bae, Jeremy T. Blitzer, Craig Logsdon, Daniel Rakiec, David Ruddy, Tiancong Jiang, Gloria Broadwater, Terry Hyslop, Allison Hall, Muriel Laine, Linda Phung, Geoffrey L. Greene, Leslie-Ann Martin, Sunil Pancholi, Mitch Dowsett, Simone Detre, Jeffrey R. Marks, Gregory E. Crawford, Myles Brown, John D. Norris and Ching-yi Chang. The study received funding from the National Institutes of Health (DK048807), the Susan G. Komen, Viba Therapeutics, Novartis and the Royal Marsden – Institute of Cancer Research. Several authors have roles at Viba Therapeutics, which is developing therapies that target tumor pathways. More detailed disclosures are listed in the study.   Tue, 10/22/2019 - 18:22 Sarah Avery /news/new-approach-shutting-down-breast-cancer-recurrence-promising National Cancer Institute Renews DCI Core Grant http://dukecancerinstitute.org/national-cancer-institute-renews-dci-core-grant On January 1, 2020, the grant will be 46 years old Michael B. Kastan, MD, PhD, Executive Director of Duke Cancer Institute After many months of preparation and an extensive review process, Duke Cancer Institute was renewed as a National Cancer Institute-designated Comprehensive Cancer Center for another five-year period. The award means that DCI retains the elite NCI designation of “Comprehensive Cancer Center”— an honor currently held by only 51 institutions in the country. The accompanying five-year grant, known as the Cancer Center Support Grant (CCSG), supports DCI’s broad range of clinical, research, and educational programs, which aim to reduce the impact of cancer on the lives of people in North Carolina and beyond. National Cancer Institute-designated cancer centers are recognized for scientific leadership and resources and must meet “rigorous standards” for research focused on new and better ways to prevent, diagnose and treat cancer. The Duke Comprehensive Cancer Center, now Duke Cancer Institute, was established in 1972 and has benefited from continuous recognition and funding from the NCI since 1973, when it was named as one of the original eight comprehensive cancer centers. The CCSG is one of the top five oldest continuous NIH grants at Duke. Michael Kastan, MD, PhD, is the executive director of DCI and has been the core grant’s principal investigator since he joined DCI in 2011. “Under Dr. Kastan’s leadership and expertise, scientific accomplishments with impactful transdisciplinary and translational research that appropriately-address the cancer burden in the catchment area have been achieved,” wrote the NCI review team. “The Institution is nationally and internationally recognized for its high standard of education, and community outreach and engagement are progressing at an outstanding level… The discoveries of new molecular, genetic, genomic, and epigenetic targets and of biological processes in cancer, together with the support of strong shared resources, to the research programs and the accomplishments in clinical trials, add value to the DCI.” The review documented eight scientific clinical advances — in understanding microenvironment modulation; differentiation therapy in graft versus host disease; vaccine development for brain tumors; drivers in glioma subgroups; discovery of a genetic variation in leukemia that confers risk for other cancers; caspase-3 and radiation carcinogenesis; a new approach to breast cancer radiotherapy; PIK3CA mutations in breast cancer; and the identification of 12 new variants for epithelial ovarian cancer. And, the committee lauded DCI’s population-based research, including “important advances in cancer risk factors and biomarker discovery,” the refining of screening guidelines, interventions to enhance patient and family experiences, new tech to improve symptom management and patient outcomes, and clinical trials and research to improve transitions-of-care and end-of-life support. Shaping Cancer Research & Care Duke Cancer Institute’s catchment area covers more than eight million people in North Carolina (67 counties), southern Virginia (40 counties), and northern South Carolina (6 counties). More than 70,000 unique cancer patients were seen in fiscal year 2019. “During this past funding period, DCI structures and programs have matured and prospered, with demonstrable increases in the number of collaborative publications and investigator-initiated clinical trials, numerous examples of high impact science, and significant expansion of community engagement activities,” said executive director of Duke Cancer Institute and CCSG principal investigator Michael Kastan, MD, PhD. “This grant renewal means that DCI continues to be a leader in shaping cancer research and care.” Duke Cancer Institute is consistently ranked among the top programs for cancer care in America. Its 315 members and 131 associate members include nationally and internationally known scientific and clinical leaders with a broad range of expertise. Over the past decade, DCI has had two Nobel Laureates. There are nine members of the National Academy of Science, 10 members of the National Academy of Medicine, two members that have been recognized by Time Magazine as the most 100 influential people in the world, and seven members who hold NIH outstanding investigator awards. In addition, multiple DCI members are governor-appointed advisors to the state of North Carolina’s Advisory Committee on Cancer Coordination and Control. Since 2014, five new strategic-priority centers or initiatives have been established: the Duke Center for Brain and Spine Metastasis at DCI, the Consortium for Canine Comparative Oncology (C30), the Personalized Cancer Medicine Initiative (which includes the Molecular Tumor Board), the DCI Center for Prostate and Urologic Cancers and the Center for Cancer Immunotherapy. These, in addition to the 82-year-old Preston Robert Tisch Brain Tumor Center, will continue to be central drivers of DCI’s activities in coming years. Sixty-seven training grants and fellowship awards worth $6.2 million were awarded during the past five years. Duke Cancer Institute remains committed, moving forward, to investing in career training and development for current and future cancer physicians, scientists and health professionals across all its programs. Acknowledgements Karen Kharasch, Director of Research Strategy and Operations, Duke Cancer Institute Preparing for the CCSG and site visit is about an 18-month process, though planning for the next five years starts the day that the CCSG PI receives NCI’s final review. From start to finish, a core team of seven prepared more than 2,200 pages of data, metrics, graphics and numerous pages of quality and exceptional science for a submission date of January 25, 2019. The May 2019 site visit included over 80 people, including 33 external reviewers from NCI and around the country. “All Duke Cancer Institute faculty and staff have the shared objective to focus our skills, experiences, and compassion to relieving our community’s cancer burden,” said Karen Kharasch, associate director for Administration for the CCSG and director of Research Strategy and Operations at DCI. “While the majority of them are outward facing, I am privileged to see the vast number of talented people who are not patient facing or in positions designed to be behind the scenes at DCI. These individuals infrequently interact with the public or patients, but their commitment is no less than to fuel a pace of discoveries and advances previously thought impossible. I want to commend the entire CCSG team, led by Daven Ria, for an exceptional CCSG submission and site visit.” Mon, 10/21/2019 - 17:28 Julie Poucher Harbin /news/national-cancer-institute-renews-dci-core-grant Beasley Named Co-Director, Melanoma Disease Group http://dukecancerinstitute.org/beasley-named-co-director-melanoma-disease-group Surgical oncologist and melanoma specialist Georgia Beasley, MD, MHSc, has been named co-director of Duke Cancer Institute’s Melanoma Disease Group. Beasley joins medical oncologist April Salama, MD, who was named director in 2018. “The appointment of Dr. Beasley in this leadership role reflects the strong history of surgical leadership within the Melanoma program, and the continued importance of multidisciplinary research and patient care,” said Salama. "I have known Dr. Beasley for nearly 10 years, and am looking forward to working with her more closely in this role. Her commitment to the entire melanoma team is evident in the work she does every day." The principal investigator on two active melanoma trials, Beasley is actively engaged in basic and translational research, including exploring vascular isolation of the liver for therapy delivery, intra-tumoral therapy with novel oncolytic viruses, and neoadjuvant therapy. Her current research is supported by a DCI pilot grant (the Duke Office of Physician Scientist Development Technician Award) and a Society of Surgical Oncology Young Investigator Award. Beasley received a BA degree from Duke in 2001. As an undergraduate, she was an all-American student-athlete for the women’s basketball team, and, in 2013, was inducted into the Duke Athletics Hall of Fame. Following graduation, she was drafted to play in the Women’s National Basketball Association (WNBA). She played for the Minnesota Lynx basketball team for three years, and returned to Duke to pursue a medical degree. Beasley earned an MD from Duke in 2008 and an MHSc from Duke in 2012. After completing a general surgery residency at Duke in 2015, she did a two-year complex surgical oncology fellowship at The Ohio State University’s Wexner Medical Center. In August 2017, Dr. Beasley joined Duke as an assistant professor of surgery and surgical oncologist. “Dr. Beasley has been on faculty for just over two years and has already developed a busy clinical practice and a very strong clinical and translational research program,” said Peter Allen, MD,  chief, Division of Surgical Oncology. “I expect her to be a national leader in the field of melanoma in the very near future.  Her appointment to this role, as well as the current synergy within our melanoma group, should help to make the Duke melanoma program one of the best in the country.”   The Melanoma Disease Group is comprised of a multi-disciplinary team of surgical, radiation and medical oncologists, as well as dermatologists, experienced in specialized treatment for melanoma as well as advanced cutaneous squamous cell, basal cell, and merkel cell carcinomas. Providers in the group strive to improve patient outcomes through collaborative projects that span the spectrum of basic, translational, and clinical research.  Every patient’s treatment plan is personalized. Patients have access to the latest therapies and treatments, including via a number of landmark clinical trials. Find more information on the Melanoma Disease Group on the Duke Cancer Institute web site. Mon, 10/21/2019 - 11:52 Julie Poucher Harbin /news/beasley-named-co-director-melanoma-disease-group Thousands Raised The Roof At Making Strides http://dukecancerinstitute.org/thousands-raised-roof-making-strides Mon, 10/21/2019 - 09:55 Julie Poucher Harbin /news/thousands-raised-roof-making-strides