Masonic Cancer Center

A comprehensive cancer center designated by the National Cancer Institute

Masonic Cancer Center Update Newsletter

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Update is an official newsletter of the Masonic Cancer Center for faculty, members, staff, colleagues, and friends. All submissions for the next issue must be sent to Sandi Sherman,, by Noon on the Fridays for publication the following Tuesday. NOTE: Update will be published bi-weekly until September 8, 2014.

Masonic Cancer Center Seminar Time Change Notice

The Masonic Cancer Center's Tuesday seminar series will be held at 9 a.m. on Tuesdays in room 1-125, Cancer and Cardiovascular Research Building, beginning September 9, 2014. Please mark your calendars.

August 19, 2014


In This Issue


Clinical Trials

Professional Education


Funding Opportunitites 



August 30 deadline approaching for abstract submissions to the Masonic Cancer Center Research Symposium
The deadline for submission of abstract for the upcoming Masonic Cancer Center Research Symposium is August 30, 2014. This symposium provides a forum for presentation of ALL aspects of cancer research being done in the MCC, including population, clinical and basic studies.  Visit the website for more information. A subcommittee will select the best abstract from each research program area for a special opportunity to have lunch with our keynote speaker  Dr. Jonathan Samet, who is a world renowned epidemiologist and pulmonary physician.

Members in the news

The research of an international team led by Eric Hendrickson, Ph.D., Genetic Mechanisms of Cancer Program, and Duncan Baird of Cardiff University was featured on KARE-11  KSTP.  The group has identified a single gene that regulates cell survival despite chromosomal defects. The research was published in Cell Reports. Read more.

Daniel Weisdorf, Ph.D., co-leader of the Transplant Biology and Therapy Program, co-authored a letter to the Star Tribune arguing against paying marrow donors.

Todd Tuttle, M.D., Prevention and Etiology Program, was quoted in a Health 24 story about survival odds in women who decide to have a healthy breast removed when they are diagnosed with breast cancer.

Treatment offers hope for rare skin disease. The treatment for the rare skin disease, epidermolysis bullosa, developed by Jakub Tolar, M.D., Ph.D., Transplant Biology and Therapy Program, was featured on NBC News

Logan Spector, Ph.D., Prevention and Etiology Program, was quoted in a Star Tribune story about the State Fair as a popular place for scientific research.

Congratulations to Dorothy Hatsukami, Ph.D, associate director Cancer Prevention and Control, who was appointed to the World Health Organization Study Group for Tobacco Product Regulation.

Members present at ASH meeting on lymphoma biology
The research team of Jaime Modiano, V.M.D., Ph.D., presented a poster, “A chimeric (canine) anti-CD20 monoclonal antibody is effective in a xenograft model of canine lymphoma” at the recent ASH meeting on lymphoma biology in Colorado Springs..

Oncology Medical Informatics and Services (OMIS) welcomes new staff
The OMIS team welcomes Vivek Venugopal who joins on August 18, 2014 as a Senior Java Developer to take the development lead on the BMT modernization project. He brings to the table a number of years of real world experience of leading large projects with SEARS Corporation. He joins the BMT development team of David Brown and Joe Wagner who have only recently joined OMIS.

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Clinical Trials

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

MT2013-11: Indoleamine-2,3-dioxygenase (IDO) Inhibition with INCB024360 and Intraperitoneal Delivery of Allogeneic Natural Killer Cells for Women with Recurrent Ovarian, Fallopian Tube and Primary Peritoneal Cancer 
PI: Geller, Melissa

A Pilot Study of the Immunological Effects of Neo-Adjuvant INCB024360 in Patients with Epithelial Ovarian, Fallopian Tube or Primary Peritoneal Carcinoma
PI: Geller, Melissa

MT2013-22 A phase 2/3 study of the efficacy and safety of hematopoietic stem cells transduced with Lenti D lentiviral vector for the treatment of childhood cerebral adrenoleukodystrophy (CCALD)
PI: Orchard, Paul

(Genentech GO28915) A Phase III, Open-Label, Multicenter, Randomized Study to Investigate the Efficacy and Safety of MPDL3280A (ANTI-PD-L1 ANTIBODY) compared with Docetaxel in patients with non-small cell lung cancer after platinum failure
PI: Patel, Manish

Study of the ADAM17 Inhibitor INCB7839 Combined With Rituximab After Autologous Hematopoietic Cell Transplantation (HCT) For Patients With Diffuse Large B Cell Non-Hodgkin Lymphoma (DLBCL)
PI: Bachanova, Veronika

MT2013-31:Allogeneic Hematopoietic Cell Transplantation 
for Inherited Metabolic Disorders, Severe Osteopetrosis and Males with Rett Syndrome following Conditioning with Busulfan (Therapeutic Drug Monitoring), Fludarabine +/- ATG 
PI: Miller, Weston

MT2014-01R Easy-to Read Informed Consent (ETRIC) for Hematopoietic Cell Transplantation Clinical Trials (CTN 1205)
PI: Lazaryan, Aleksandr

Chronic GVHD Response Measures Validation
PI: Arora, Mukta

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

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Professional Education

August 22-24, 2014: 6th Mayo Clinic Angiogenesis and the Tumor Microenvironment: From Basic Science and Clinical Challenges to Patient Care
Angiogenesis research has highly relevant clinical applications in a wide array of fields from oncology to cardiovascular to hematology to cell biology and others.  This year’s agenda has some of the foremost experts in angiogenesis and the symposium will serve in establishing strong collaborations among leading national, international, and Mayo Clinic experts in the field.

September 3, 2014: MC3 Cancer Disparities Grand Rounds: The Nitty Gritty of Racial Disparities in Prostate Cancer
12-1 p.m., Room 105, 717 Delaware
Willie Underwood, III, M.D., MSci., M.P.H., Associate Clinical Directork, RPCI Referring Physician and Patient/Family Experience Initiatives, Associate Professor of Medicine, University of Buffalo Urology and Cancer Prevention and Control, Roswell Park Cancer Institute

September 29, 2014: 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.

October 9, 2014: Pediatric Survivors after HCT: Long-term screening and Preventive Practices
4-5 p.m., live webinar
Register at

October 20, 2014: 5th Annual Masonic Cancer Center Research Symposium
10:30 a.m-3:30 p.m., Cancer Cardiovascular Research Building
Keynote Speaker: B.J. Kennedy Lecturer in Medical Oncology Jonathan Samet, M.D., M.S., Director, University of Southern California Institute for Global Health, Professor and Flor L. Thornton Chair, Department of Preventive Medicine, Keck School of Medicine

The symposium will include two poster sessions. Deadline for abstracts is August 30, 2014. Submit abstracts here.

November 5, 2014: Cancer Health Equity Conference
11 a.m.-7:30 p.m., Hilton Bloomington, Minneapolis
Sponsored by Minnesota Center for Cancer Collaborations.
For more information and to register visit the website.

January 26, 2015: SAVE THE DATE! Inaugural Kersey Lecture
Jennifer Grandis, M.D., will speak. Time and location to be determined.

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

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September 6, 2014: Masonic Cancer Center at Mill City Farmers Market
7:30 a.m.-1:30 p.m., 704 S. 2nd St., Minneapolis
The Masonic Cancer Center is sponsoring the Mill City's Farmers Market. Stop by for a visit to learn about the work of the Masonic Cancer Center, University of Minnesota

September 6, 2014: HOM Teal Strides for Ovarian Cancer
Rosland Park,4300 W. 66th St., Edina, MN 55435
The Minnesota Ovarian Cancer Alliance will be marking 15 years of strides against ovarian cancer at their annual HOM Teal Strides for Ovarian Cancer walk and run event on Saturday, Sept. 6 at Rosland Park in Edina. MOCA, a statewide nonprofit dedicated to funding ovarian cancer research, also provides support for those affected by the disease and spreads awareness about the symptoms.

The University’s team, Team U+Nified is one of our largest teams that we have at the event each year and a major sponsor of Teal Strides. Participants can register for the event at Each participant receives a Teal Strides t-shirt; water and snacks will also be provided.

September 10, 2014: Varsity Team Rally: Changing Science, Saving Lives
6-9 p.m., Cancer and Cardiovascular Building, 2231 6th Street SE, Minneapolis
The Varsity Team Rally: Changing Science, Changing Lives is an event to benefit the Masonic Cancer Center, University of Minnesota by raising $100,000 to advance high-impact cancer research.  Visit the website for more information.

September 13, 2014: Care Partners Picnic of Hope
11 a.m.-2 p-.m., Minnehaha Park, Wabun Picnic Area C, 4655 46th Avenue S., Minneapolis
Visit the website for more information.

September 19, 2014: The 2nd annual Putting for Pancreatic Cancer Research Golf Scramble
11:00 a.m. through dinner, Majestic Oaks Golf Club
Registration is due by September 1st.
For more information visit the website

November 1, 2014: Dawn of a Dream
The Depot, Minneapolis

November 14, 2014: 2014 Westgate Pediatric Ethics Forum: Ethics and genetic testing of children – Who gets to know what, when and why
12-4 p.m., Children’s Minneapolis Education Center, 2525 Chicago Ave. S., Minneapolis
Holly Tabor, Ph.D., Assistant Professor, Division of Bioetchics, Department of Pediatrics, Truman Katz Center for Pediatric Bioethics, Seattle Children’s Hospital and the University of Washington, co-founder of My46
Susan Wolf, J.D., McKnight Professor of Law, Medicine and Public Policy, Faegre Baker Daniels Professor of Law, University of Minnesota Law School; Professor of Medicine
Case examples and discussion presented by the Children’s Hospitals and Clinics of Minnesota Genetics Department

Visit the Community Events and Outreach page for more information.

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Funding Opportunities

Translational Working Groups (TWG) Pilot Grants
Deadline: September 19, 2014
Pilot grants are available to fund projects that further the translational goals of the Translational Working Groups (TWGs). The purpose of the pilot project funding is to increase the pace at which translational science is accomplished. Proposals must have a cancer-related theme relevant to one of the TWGs and have the endorsement of the leader(s) of the relevant TWG. Each TWG may submit only one application.

Examples of the types of projects that will be considered include: funds to carry out biomarker analysis for an ongoing clinical study; funds to support novel animal models needed for translational studies; funds to support the next stage of a drug development project (such as screening new compounds or toxicology studies of a lead compound) or funds to support an interdisciplinary collaboration that could lead to a translational grant application.

Questions related to application process, requirements or eligibility should be directed to Aaron Schilz, MCC Research Grant Coordinator, 612-624-065,

Questions of applicability of research should be directed to Jill Siegfried, Ph.D., 612-624-2584,

Grant-in-Aid of Research, Artistry, and Scholarship Program
Sponsor: Office of the Vice President of Research.
Deadline: September 15, 2015 to approvers; September 18 to OVPR

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 August 21, 2014