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June 12, 2012

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

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Sheba Launches Sister Institution Website

The Chaim Sheba Medical Center at Tel Hashomer in Tel Aviv, Israel recently launched a website to highlight the research and interaction between Sheba and MD Anderson through their relationship as Sister Institutions. Amir Onn, M.D., directs the relationship, and is the head of the Institute of Pulmonary Oncology as well as the co-director of the Institutional Tumor Bank. Onn is a graduate of the Hadassah School of Medicine in Jerusalem and trained in medicine and pulmonary medicine at the Tel Aviv Sourasky Medical Center. In addition he was a fellow in interventional pulmonary oncology and subsequent faculty member in MD Anderson’s Department of Pulmonary Oncology. The SI relationship’s deputy director is Avi Treves, Ph.D. who is a biotech entrepreneur, earned his Ph.D. from the Weizmann Institute of Science and held a postdoctoral position at Stanford Medical School. Currently, there are seven active collaborative research programs between the two institutions.

Calendar of Events

Symposia on Cancer Research 2012
San Diego, California
Sept. 21-22, 2012

DKFZ Stem Cell Symposium
Heidelberg, Germany
Oct. 14-16, 2012

Yonsei Joint Symposium
Seoul, Korea
Oct. 18-19, 2012


East African Oncology and Imaging Conference

From June 18-20, 2012 in Nairobi, Kenya, Aga Khan University Hospital and The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center will be hosting the East African Oncology and Imaging Conference.  The course directors include Deepak Birdi, M.D., professor in MD Anderson’s Department of Diagnostic Radiology and Aga Khan oncologists Farrok Karsan, M.B.Ch.B., chief of Oncology and Sudir Vinayak, M.B.Ch.B, chairman of Radiology. The conference is intended to bring together regional practicing oncologists and trainees and serve as a networking and educational experience.

ASCO IDEA Award Winners

The International Development and Education Award from the American Society of Clinical Oncology provides support for early career oncologists from low and middle income countries to attend the ASCO Annual Meeting and to visit a cancer center in the United States or Canada. Several of this year’s award winners are from MD Anderson Sister Institutions and two of the awardees chose to visit MD Anderson for three days as their chosen cancer institution.

Catherine Mwaba, M.D., a Radiation Oncologist from Cancer Diseases Hospital Oncology Centre, Lusaka, Zambia

Rahul Krishnatry, M.D., a Radiation Oncologist at Tata Memorial Centre, Mumbai, India

WIN 2012 in June

On June 28 and 29, academic thought leaders and high-ranking officers from pharma, biotech and information technology companies will gather in Paris at the WIN2012 Symposium to present and discuss breakthroughs that will bring personalized cancer medicine to the next phase.

WIN2012 will address new ways to advance individualized cancer therapy by applying new technologies, including targeted therapeutics and diagnostic biomarkers, and by designing and conducting innovative clinical trials in oncology. The program will include the first-ever disclosure of new technologies that are able to predict efficacy of therapeutics for the treatment of cancer patients on an individual basis.  

Advance registration for the symposium at reduced rates remains open via the WIN2012 website until June 24.

Network News

Joint Symposium with Tel Aviv University A Success

Held at Shlezak Hall in the Sackler School of Medicine, Tel Aviv University (TAU) and MD Anderson jointly hosted the International Colloquium: Stem Cells, Organs and Cancer on Sunday, May 6, 2012. As many as 70 attendees participated throughout the day, which included a poster session during lunch that allowed faculty and trainees from both institutions to interact. To open the colloquium, Karen Avraham, Ph.D., professor and chair of the Department of Human Molecular Genetics and Biochemistry, provided an overview of the Sackler School of Medicine, while William Klein, Ph.D., professor and chairman in the Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, discussed research activity at MD Anderson. Future plans for the collaboration include trainee exchanges and a joint conference at MD Anderson.

Karolinska and MD Anderson Workshop

Last week on June 6th and 7th, Karolinska Institutet, in Stockholm, Sweden and MD Anderson held their 2nd Collaborative Workshop. The two days were filled with presenters from both institutions and opened by a trio of MD Anderson leaders. The collaborative relationship’s faculty champion at MD Anderson Borje S. Andersson, M.D., Ph.D., professor in the Department of Stem Cell Transplantation offered welcoming remarks to the Swedish visitors. Prior to becoming a faculty member at MD Anderson, Andersson was a fellow in the Department of Developmental Therapeutics. Also welcoming participants were Oliver Bogler, Ph.D., vice president of Global Academic Programs and Raymond DuBois, M.D., Ph.D., provost and executive vice president.

The workshop focused on presentations and discussions surrounding primarily the following areas of collaboration: hematological projects; malignant melanoma studies; personalized, targeted therapy, as well as stereotactic radiation therapy and new technology for diagnostic imaging studies. The participants anticipate increasing collaboration through cooperative graduate and post-doctoral student educational programs for those interested in clinical and translational research. Enthusiasm for a closer working relationship was high at the close of the event and the hope of both institutions is to work towards a formal Sister Institution relationship.