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February 21, 2012

Forming a global cancer network for research, clinical care, education and prevention.

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GAP Conference 2012 Registration and Hotel

Be sure to visit the Norwegian Cancer Consortium’s GAP Conference 2012 website where you can make reservations at Holmenkollen Park Hotel Rica for the conference rate of 1095 Kroner for a single ($190 USD) and 1295 Kroner for a double ($225 USD).

Registration is also now open. As part of the registration you can fill in a bit of additional information in order to be paired with others who share your research interests. These brief meetings will allow you to meet with individuals who may not yet be in your collaborative network.

GAP Conference 2012 Call for Abstracts

The co-chairs for each Keynote and Workshop at the conference have defined the focus of their sessions and are seeking abstract submissions.  Read the topic descriptions below or on the website and contact your GAP liaison to submit an abstract form. Deadline for regular submissions is Feb. 27, 2012 and deadline for nursing submissions is March 15, 2012.

Personalized Cancer Medicine

• Laboratory and clinically-oriented personal cancer medicine.
• Lymphoma biology and translational research.
• Clinical studies on malignant lymphomas.


• Chemo-radiotherapy of colorectal cancer: treatment efficacy and side effects
• Prognostic and predictive molecular factors
• Clinical and translational research
• Minimally invasive surgery for rectal cancer


• Target therapy strategies for today and tomorrow in ovarian cancer
• State of the art of chemotherapy in the management of recurrent ovarian cancer
• HPV testing - does it help?
• Vaccination in gynecologic cancer
• Minimally invasive surgery for gynecologic cancers


• Biology and therapy of cancer metastasis
• Targeted therapy in lung cancer
• Novel targets for therapeutic intervention
• Multidisciplinary care for lung cancer - overview of current trends in treatment
• Early stage and techniques on evaluation and surgery
• Role of radiation and newer technology in treatment
• Treatment and research

Palliative Medicine

• Integrating palliative care into oncologic practice
• Assessment of symptoms - common tools
• Advanced cancer pain management
• Cachexia - new strategies for management
• Palliative surgery
• Difficult conversations

Cancer Patient Cohorts

• Current state and future directions in creation of cancer patient cohorts: study design and research infrastructure  
• Utilization of cancer patient cohorts: predictors of clinical outcomes; integration of clinical, genomic and lifestyle factors to build prediction models

New Drugs R&D

• Peptid vaccines
• Dendritic cell vaccine in melanoma and glioblastoma
• Cationic peptide creating tumor necrosis and immunity in animal biologics


• Novel immunotherapy strategies for cancer
• Translational and clinical research in cancer immunotherapy including cancer vaccines


• Collaborative research opportunities - surgical approaches, systemic approaches and translational research approaches


• Clinical topics
• Emerging targeted therapies for breast cancer
• Inflammatory breast cancer
• Modern concepts of neoadjuvant clinical trials
• Late toxicity of cancer treatments
• Translational studies
• Breast cancer molecular profiles - clinical aspects and implications
• Monitoring minimal residual disease
• Physical activity and metabolic processes - basic knowledge and clinical impact


• New insights in liver cancer and metastases - stem cells, genomics, immunological mechanisms of colorectal metastases and therapeutics


• Oncologic outcomes from local treatment
• Quality of life after local treatment
• Management of the screening controversy and strategies to expand active surveillance
• Advanced disease - predicting response to treatment, novel markers

Head and Neck

• Delineation of tumor based on integrating images from PET/CT/MRI
• Improvement of local/loco-regional control rates by extended use of radio-chemotherapy
• Should HPV-positive oropharyngeal patients be treated differently than HPV-negative patients?
• Hypoxia in head and neck tumors
• Improving the quality of head and neck cancer care
• Decision making for post RT/Chemo-RT neck dissection in the N+ patient
• The molecular basis for personalized head and neck cancer treatment
• Assessing functional outcomes and quality of life after treatment for head and neck cancer
• The role for surgery in early to intermediate stage larynx cancer
• Non-melanoma skin cancer - is there a role for targeted therapy?

Tissue Banking

• Rights to tissue samples and associated data banked for research
• Public perceptions of biobanking - ethical concerns
• Clinical vs. research-specific acquired samples
• Clinical biobanks vs. population biobanks
• Quality assurance in diagnostic biobanks
• Informatics and databases

Cancer Survivorship

• Second malignancies
• Life style changes
• Models of care delivery
• Psychosocial issues

Smoking Cessation

Medical Informatics


• Oncology nursing: supporting patients living with, through and beyond cancer

Calendar of Events

CMSI Annual Symposium
Tokyo, Japan
Feb. 27, 2012

MD Anderson Espana Conference
Madrid, Spain
March 14-16, 2012

GAP Annual Conference
Oslo, Norway
May 14-16, 2012


SINF Deadline March 1, 2012

If you are submitting a grant to the Sister Institution Network Fund (SINF) Request for Application (RFA), be sure to have your packets complete by March 1, 2012 and submitted electronically to as well as at the appropriate addresses at our partner institutions, listed in the RFA document. The program guidelines, application, application guidelines, and RFA can all be found on our website. A list of FAQs, a webinar addressing questions held on Jan. 4, 2012 and a list of the 2011 SINF recipients are also available. Funding is up to $100,000 for one to two years for MD Anderson investigators.

New GAP Oversight Steering Committee Members Announced

There are quite a few familiar faces on GAP’s oversight steering committee (OSC) for 2012-2014, but several new contributors have also been added. In addition to Raphael Pollock, M.D., Ph.D., head of the Division of Surgery, who will chair the committee, new members include:

• Marshall Hicks, M.D., head of the Division of Diagnostic Imaging
• Merrill Kies, M.D., professor in the Department of Thoracic/Head & Neck Medical Oncology
• Lopa Mishra, M.D., chair of the Department of Gastroenterology, Hepatology  &  Nutrition
• Kathleen Schmeler, M.D., assistant professor in the Department of Gynecologic Oncology and Reproductive Medicine
•  Apostolia Tsimberidou, M.D., Ph.D. associate professor in the Department of Investigational Cancer Therapeutics
• Naoto Ueno, M.D., Ph.D. professor in the Department of Breast Medical Oncology

Returning members include:

• Andersson Borje, M.D., Ph.D., professor in the Department of Stem Cell Transplantation
• Robert Bast, Jr., M.D., vice president in the Office of Translational Research
• Aman Buzdar,M.D., professor in the Department of Breast Medical Oncology
• Debbie Kuban, M.D., professor in the Department of Radiation Oncology
• Eduardo Diaz, Jr., M.D., vice president of Global Clinical Programs
• Raymond DuBois, M.D., provost and executive vice president of MD Anderson
• Thomas Feeley, M.D., head of the Division of Anesthesiology & Critical Care
• Dan Fontaine, Jr., senior vice president of Business & Regulatory Affairs
• Robert Gagel, M.D., head of the Division of Internal Medicine
• Stanley Hamilton, M.D., head of the Division of Pathology
• Ernest Hawk, M.D., vice president of Cancer Prevention
• Mien-Chie Hung, Ph.D., chair of the Department of Molecular & Cellular Oncology
• Hagop Kantarjian, M.D., chair of the Department of Leukemia and associate vice president, GAP
• Mitchell Latinkic, vice president of Global Business Development
• Cesar Nunez, M.D., associate professor in the Department of Pediatrics
• Garth Powis, D.Phil., chair of the Department of Experimental Therapeutics
• Barbara Summers, Ph.D., vice president of Nursing Practice & Chief Nursing Officer

GAP thanks each committee member for their upcoming contributions as we continue to forge collaborative research and education programs around the world. The committee’s advice, guidance and wealth of knowledge will ensure GAP creates substantive relationships with the ability to lessen the burden of cancer beyond Houston.

Network News

Sheba Medical Center Physician Visiting MD Anderson

On Feb. 21, 2012, Amir Onn, M.D., head of the Institute of Pulmonary Oncology at Sheba Medical Center in Israel, will be visiting MD Anderson. Onn is the program director for the Sheba-MD Anderson Sister Institution relationship and the co-director of Sheba’s tumor bank. Previously, Onn was a fellow at MD Anderson in interventional pulmonary oncology and stayed on as a member of the faculty in the Department of Pulmonary Oncology before returning to Israel.

WIN Coalition Yields Research Project - WINTHER

WIN therapeutics (WINTHER) and re-design of clinical trials to improve efficacy of existing drug portfolio and drug development for improved clinical care, is a collaborative project between the founders of the Worldwide Innovative Networking in personalized cancer medicine (WIN), MD Anderson and Institute Gustave Roussy, as well as GE Healthcare Diagnostics in the United Kingdom; Fundacio Privada d’Investigacio Oncologica de Vall d’Hebron (VHIO) in Spain; Foundation Medicine Boston; and Ben-Gurion University of Negev and Chaim Sheba Medical Center, both in Israel.

Currently, 95% of drug development efforts fail before they reach patients. WINTHER aims to shorten the timeline for clinical trials and predict the effectiveness of new drugs based on targeted therapies. Ultimately, the goal is to match the right drug with the right patient and avoid using expensive drugs for patients that will not benefit from them. Here at MD Anderson the principal investigators are Razelle Kurzrock, M.D., chair of the Department of Investigational Cancer Therapeutics and Donald Berry, Ph.D., professor in the Department of Biostatistics.

Tata Memorial Hospital Conference

From Feb. 24-26, 2012 Tata Memorial Hospital in Mumbai, India will be hosting a conference on Evidence Based Management of Cancers in India. The conference will be attended by Merill Kies, M.D., professor in the Department of Thoracic/Head & Neck Medical Oncology and Kian Ang, M.D., Ph.D., professor in the Department of Radiation Oncology. The conference is focused on all aspects of head and neck cancers, including epidemiological trends, pathology, diagnostics, treatment and management.