Masonic Cancer Center

A comprehensive cancer center designated by the National Cancer Institute

MCC Update 05-27-14

What You See Is What You Get Element

May 27, 2014


Message from the Director

Dear colleagues,

As you may know, the “longest serving member of the Masonic Cancer Center” is about to end her streak of 22 years! Mary Sumpmann, Associate Director of Administration, is retiring in June. Please join us on Thursday, June 5 at 3:30 p.m. in 450 MCRB to wish her well and celebrate all her contributions to the cancer center.

To RSVP or write a note to Mary, please visit the website.

Douglas Yee, M.D,

Today's Seminar



This was the last seminar scheduled for the 2013-2014 academic year. Visit our calendar periodically to learn about the 2014-2015 schedule.

In This Issue


Clinical Trials

Professional Education


Funding Opportunitites 


Members in the news

Kristin Baker Niendorf, M.S., CGC Program Manager of the Cancer Risk Management Program in the Masonic Cancer Clinic, was featured in the May 2014 issue of Minneapolis-St. Paul Magazine explaining the importance of learning one’s personal risk for familial cancers and following the recommended screening programs to minimize that risk.

Melissa Truelson, M.S, CGC and Melissa Geller, M.D., of the Cancer Risk Management Program in the Masonic Cancer Clinic, were interviewed by NWCT-TV, about a patient’s experience with ovarian cancer and its connection to the BRCA genetic mutations.

Chinese delegation visits the cancer center
A delegation of Chinese oncologists and surgeons from the Hunan Provincial Cancer Hospital of China visited the University of Minnesota on Wednesday, May 21. Hunan Cancer Hospital is the only Class A tumor hospital, which combines clinical practice, research and cancer prevention into a common mission in Hunan Province. In 2013 there were 250,366 outpatients and 52,561 inpatients discharged from the hospital. The Chinese delegation consisted of 4 members: Dr. Zhou Xia (General Secretary), Dr. Lian Jinping (Vice President) and two directors of the hospital. 

They were first welcomed by Tucker LeBien, Ph.D., Associate Vice President for Research in the Academic Health Center. They also talked with Dr. Dorothy Hatsukami, Ph.D., Associate Director of Cancer Prevention and Control, about common interests in tobacco-related health problems in China. In addition, they met with Dr. Douglas Yee, Masonic Cancer Center Director, as well as key cancer center members to discuss potential areas of collaboration in both research and clinical trials. A meeting with Dr. Leo Furcht, Chair of Laboratory Medicine and Pathology, and several clinical faculty in that department explored the potential for collaborating to adopt many of the new genomic technologies being put into practice at the U of M and to discuss possible training opportunities for Chinese pathologists here. At the end of their visit, an agreement for cooperation and exchange between University of Minnesota and Hunan Cancer Hospital of China was signed by Drs. Yee and Furcht.

Congratulations to Michelle Allen, M.D., Prevention and Etiology Program
, who was the recipient of the University of Minnesota’s 2014 President’s Community-Engaged Scholars Award Faculty Award.

Indoor tanning is prohibited in Minnesota for minors
The Governor of Minnesota signed a law that will prohibit minors (under 18 years of age) from tanning indoors on Friday, May 23. This effort was led by the American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network and the Tan Free Teens Coalition. The Minnesota Cancer Alliance is a member of the Tan Free Teens Coalition. DeAnn Lazovich, Ph.D., Associate Professor at the University of Minnesota School of Public Health and co-leader of the Prevention and Etiology Program, provided critical testimony during the legislative session. During the past two years, the Minnesota Comprehensive Cancer Control Program conducted a media campaign on rising melanoma rates among young adults as well as the prevalence of indoor tanning among high school students and young adults. This year the CCC Program also conducted a video contest for teens on the dangers of tanning. The winning videos can be viewed on the Department of Health website.

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Clinical Trials

The following clinical trials conducted by Masonic Cancer Center members were recently opened:

A Phase 3 Randomized Double-blind Trial of Maintenance with Niraparib versus Placebo in Patients with Platinum Sensitive Ovarian Cancer
PI: Geller, Melissa

AREN0534 - Treatment for Patients with Bilateral, Multicentric, or Bilaterally-Predisposed Unilateral Wilms Tumor
PI: Greengard, Emily

A Phase 3, Randomized, Double-Blind, Multicenter Study Comparing Oral MLN9708 Plus Lenalidomide and Dexamethasone Versus Placebo Plus Lenalidomide and Dexamethasone in Adult Patients With Newly Diagnosed Multiple Myeloma (C16014)
PI: McClune, Brian

For more information on clinical trials contact Marva Bohen, R.N., B.S.N. (, 612-624-2620).

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Professional Education

May 27, 2014: Breast Cancer Journal Club
1-2 p.m., 3-224 CCRB
Jie Chan will discussion “Serpins promote cancer cell survival and vascular co-option in brain metastasis,” by Valiente N et al., in Cell, 2014;156:1002-16.

May 28, 2014: Cancer Biology Research Club
12-1 p.m, 2-115 CCRB
How does progesterone signalling influence breast density and cancer risk?
Katie Leehy, Ph.D., Lange lab

May 28, 2014: Masonic Cancer Center Sarcoma Translational Working Group Retreat
8:20 a.m. – 1 p.m., MCRB 450
Session 1: Open to all university community, Foundation and philanthropic partners
8:30 – 11:55 a.m.      
Research presentations by program members
12- 1 p.m.                   
Development of novel combination targeted therapies for pediatric sarcomas Lee J. Helman, M.D. Pediatric Oncology Branch, Head, Molecular Oncology Section, Scientific Director and Senior Investigator, Center for Cancer Research, National Cancer Institute

Session 2: Program retreat for Sarcoma TWG members only.

RSVP before 4 p.m. on Monday, May 26, 2014 by email to

May 28, 2014: Stem Cell Institute Research Conference Series
4 p.m., 1-110 MTRF, 2001 6th Street SE, McGuire Translational Research Facility
Linking RNA to human health
John Rinn, Department of Stem Cell and Regenerative Medicine, Harvard University

May 30, 2014: Forty Years of Molecular Insights into Axon Guidance: A Symposium in Celebration of the Career of Paul Letourneau
8:15 a.m. – 4:45 p.m., 1-125 Cancer and Cardiovascular Research Building
The Department of Neuroscience is sponsoring a symposium to honor Dr. Paul Letourneau’s 40-year career.

June 12, 2014: Brain Tumor Program meeting
9-10 a.m., NHH 6-101
Rajneet Oberoi, Elmquist lab, will present.

June 24, 2014: CTSI Lunch Seminar
12-1 p.m., 717 Delaware St. SE, Room 105
Statistical guidelines for pilot studies
John Connett, Ph.D., Director of the Biostatistical Design and Analysis Center
This seminar is part of an ongoing seminar series that assists junior faculty with developing strong applications for NIH extramural funding and CTSI-Ed career development programs.

RSVP by June 23 to to reserve a lunch, or watch the live broadcast via UMConnect.

September 29, 2014: SAVE THE DATE! 11th Annual Women’s Health Research Conference: Updates on Women’s Cancer Research
McNamara Alumni Center, University of Minnesota
Keynote speaker:
Olufunmilayo I. Olopade, M.D., FACP, Walter L. Palmer Distinguished Service Professor of Medicine and Human Genetics; Associate Dean, Global Health; Director, Center for Clinical Cancer Genetics; University of Chicago

Co-sponsored by the Powell Center for Women’s Health  and the Masonic Cancer Center. Visit the website for more information.

Visit the Education and Training Opportunities web page for more conference and special lecture listings.

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May 29, 2014: Community Dialogue Series: Environmental Justice and Health Disparities
3:30-5:30 p.m., room 105, 717 Delaware Building
Sacoby Wilson, Ph.D., M.S., Assistant Professor, Epidemiology and Biostatistics, Director, Community Engagement, Environmental Justice and Health, Maryland Institute for Applied Environmental Health, School of Public Health, University of Maryland-College Park and Women’s Health Institute
Registration: The event is free but registration is requested.  Light refreshments will be served. For more information: or 612-625-1654

July 28, 2014: Rein in Sarcoma Party in the Park and Sarcoma Family Picnic
6 – 9:30 p.m., Como Park Visitor Center
To register, visit the website

September 10, 2014: SAVE THE DATE! Varsity Team Rally IV
Save the date for a unique, casual, insider's evening to learn from cancer researchers and meet other 'team' members dedicated to cancer research. Event will be held in the Cancer and Cardiovascular Building.

Visit the Community Events and Outreach page for more information.

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Funding Opportunities

News & Notices:

Piloting Modified NIH Biosketches
National Institutes of Health
The new Biosketch format being piloted will extend the page limit from four to five pages and it will allow researchers to describe up to five of their most significant contributions to science along with the historical background that framed their research.  

Funding Opportunities:

Damon Runyon-Rachleff Innovation Award
Damon Runyon Cancer Research Foundation
Deadline: July 1, 2014
Funding: $150,000 per year for two years with the opportunity for up to two additional years of funding
The Damon Runyon-Rachleff Innovation Award provides support for the next generation of exceptionally creative thinkers with "high-risk/high-reward" ideas that have the potential to significantly impact our understanding of and/or approaches to the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of cancer. This award is specifically designed to provide funding for extraordinary early career researchers who have an innovative, new idea but lack sufficient preliminary data to obtain traditional funding. The research supported by the award must be novel, exceptionally creative and, if successful, have the strong potential for high impact in the cancer field.

New this year: Institutional nominations are not required. No limit per institution on the number of applications.

Exploratory Studies of Smoking Cessation Interventions for People with Schizophrenia (R21/R33)
National Cancer Institute
Application Receipt Date(s): August 15, 2014, December 16, 2014, April 15, 2015, August 17, 2015, December 15, 2015. See announcement for additional deadlines.
Funding: The R21 phase may not exceed two years or $275,000 in direct costs, with no more than $150,000 in direct costs in any single year of the R21 phase.  The R33 phase may not exceed three years or $450,000 in direct costs, with no more than $225,000 in direct costs in any single year of the R33 phase.

Lung Cancer Research Program (LCRP) Research Grants
Department of Defense

Concept Award
Letter of Intent Deadline: July 29, 2014
Full Application Deadline: August 12, 2014
Funding: $100,000 for 1 year

Clinical Exploration Award
Preproposal Deadline: June 3, 2014
Full Application Deadline: September 17, 2014
Funding: $450,000 for 3 years

Idea Development Award
Preproposal Deadline: June 3, 2014
Full Application Deadline: September 17, 2014
Funding: $350,000 for 2 years

Career Development Award
Preproposal Deadline: June 3, 2014
Full Application Deadline: September 17, 2014
Funding: $240,000 for 2 years

Visit the Funding Opportunities Web page to see listings previously published in Update. A list of organizations that provide funding for cancer research is also provided there.

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  • Last modified on June 3, 2014