Frontiers Winter 2018

Changing of the Guard

With the changing of the year comes a changing of the guard at The Ohio State University Comprehensive Cancer Center – James Cancer Hospital and Solove Research Institute (OSUCCC – James).

While we are saddened by the impending departure of former OSUCCC Director and James CEO Michael A. Caligiuri, MD, who in February will embark on a new career opportunity in California, we are also honored to have been chosen to guide Ohio State’s cancer program in pursuit of our shared vision of a cancer-free world.

The OSUCCC – James flourished under Dr. Caligiuri’s leadership, enjoying record financial performance, earning the highest possible descriptor of “exceptional” during our two most recent NCI surveys, receiving patient-satisfaction scores that rank among the nation’s highest, and gaining a reputation as one of the most translational cancer hospitals in the country as we readily convert laboratory discoveries into innovative cancer care and prevention strategies.

Through the combined efforts of our dedicated faculty, staff and volunteers, we intend to build upon the outstanding reputation of the OSUCCC – James as a transformational cancer hospital that provides compassionate cancer care to the patients and families who turn to us for help.

We offer evidence of our commitment in this issue of Frontiers. Here you can gain insight  into the RAS oncogene—which when mutated drives some of the deadliest forms of cancer—and our researchers’ efforts to discover an effective inhibitor to blunt its oncogenic effects. You can also read about our recently launched Digital Pathology Program that will fully digitize our anatomical pathology services over the next 10 years.

Excitement is mounting at the OSUCCC – James, and we thank you for sharing in it by taking time to peruse this edition of Frontiers.

Moving Precision Cancer Medicine Into the Clinic

Cancer medicine is in the midst of an exciting transition, shifting away from the organ-based practice that we’ve known for decades and toward precision cancer medicine (PCM)—the use of genomics to identify genes in patient tumors that we can target with therapy.

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CAR-T Immunotherapy Approved for Certain Adult Lymphoma Patients

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved a breakthrough cancer therapy known as CAR-T for use in adults with advanced lymphoma.

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Onalespib May Be an Effective Treatment for Glioblastoma

The targeted therapy onalespib has shown effectiveness in preclinical studies of glioblastoma by researchers at the OSUCCC – James.

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A microRNA With Macro Implications

A molecule called microRNA-122 (miR-122) is critical for regulating liver-cell metabolism and for suppressing liver-cancer development.

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NSAIDs Implicated

Regular use of over-the-counter non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) such as aspirin and ibuprofen is associated with greater risk of dying in patients diagnosed with type 1 endometrial cancers, according to a new population-based study led by researchers at the OSUCCC – James.

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Updated AML Guidelines

An international panel of experts has released updated evidence-based and expert-opinion-based recommendations for the diagnosis and treatment of acute myeloid leukemia (AML) in adults.

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Anticancer Synergy

Two investigational agents—the aurora A kinase inhibitor alisertib and the oncolytic herpesvirus HSV1716—have separately shown some antitumor efficacy as monotherapies in early clinical trials.

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Improving Prognostic Prowess

New research shows that taking molecular variables into account will improve the prognostic classification of the lethal brain cancer called glioblastoma (GBM).

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Voices for Vaccination

Recognizing a need to improve national vaccination rates for the human papillomavirus (HPV), the OSUCCC – James has again united with the 69 National Cancer Institute (NCI)-designated cancer centers to issue a joint statement supporting recently revised recommendations from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

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Of Note

A listing of the recent recognitions of OSUCCC – James physicians and researchers.

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Pathology From the Cockpit

Until recently, when a pathologist wanted to review the prior slides from a complex case with an expert pathologist or colleague, he or she had to request the glass slides from the archives and wait hours to days for the slides to arrive so that they could be shared. But that is changing at Ohio State.

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Breaking the RAS Ceiling

In 2014, Ohio State cancer researchers were deep into a study investigating a question related to microRNAs in melanoma when they made an astonishing discovery. Analysis of their data revealed that an infamous oncogene called NRAS encodes five proteins, not just one as was thought.

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Bench to Bedside: From the Laboratory to the Pharmacy

The combination of nivolumab and lenalidomide will be safe, tolerable and effective in patients with B-cell non-Hodgkin lymphoma (NHL) or with Hodgkin disease (HD), regardless of their prognostic marker profile.

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Solid Tumor Translational Science Shared Resource

The Solid Tumor Translational Science Shared Resource (STTSSR) assists OSUCCC – James clinical investigators in designing and managing correlative studies for the identification or validation of biomarkers as part of phase I and II trials.

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Meeting Special Needs

Despite advances in early detection, treatment and prevention, cancer is the No. 1 disease killer of adolescents and young adults (AYAs), people aged 15-39. An estimated 72,000 AYAs are diagnosed with cancer annually, and about 10,000 of them die of these diseases each year.

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Pelotonia Funding Allocations Will Support Student and Faculty Cancer Research

New allocations of funding from Pelotonia, an annual grassroots bicycle tour that raises money for cancer research at Ohio State, will support eight projects by teams of OSUCCC – James scientists and 42 projects by Ohio State students working in the labs of faculty mentors.

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