October 3, 2014

ESMO: BRAF/MEK Inhibitor Combo Bests Monotherapy for Metastatic Melanoma
Cancer Network – Oct. 3
“The randomized phase II data presented by Georgina Long at ESMO last week and in the NEJM article clearly suggest that there is a superior response rate and median PFS for the combination compared to dabrafenib alone,” said senior author Jeffrey S. Weber, MD, PhD, melanoma oncologist and immunologist at the Moffitt Cancer Center in Tampa, Florida.

Cancer center closes in on $100 million goal
Richmond BizSense – Oct. 3
So far, Massey has recruited 28 of the 35 leading researchers and physician-scientists it plans to hire. It has snagged experts from Harvard’s Dana-Farber, MD Anderson and Moffitt Cancer Center, among others.

Practice-changing treatment for melanoma
Pharma Times – Oct. 2
“This is a highly favourable outcome,” said Jeffrey Weber of the Moffitt Cancer Center in Florida, reporting the results for nivolumab at the European Society of Medical Oncology meeting in Madrid.

Living Well Foundation continues without Joanna Francis
Tallahassee Democrat – Oct. 2
Anne Schroeder was Living Well’s first financial recipient. She was diagnosed in 2010 and after treatments at Moffitt Cancer Center & Research Institute in Tampa, Schroeder remembers a knock on the door at home.

Hungry Howie’s offers Love, Hope & Pizza
WTSP, 10 News – Oct. 2
Love, Hope & Pizza has raised well over $1 million for the National Breast Cancer Foundation (NBCF) over the past five years. “Hungry Howie’s has put their heart and soul into Love, Hope & Pizza,” said NBCF Founder & CEO Janelle Hail. “The funds have helped provide tens of thousands of free early detection services for women in need in all 50 states. Now, we’re proud to announce it has made possible a new partnership with Moffitt Cancer Center in Tampa Bay.”

Arts festival raises awareness
The Longboat Observer – Oct. 2
The 20th annual downtown Sarasota Art and Craft Fair takes place Oct. 4 and 5, at Five Points Park and Central Avenue. Proceeds from the sale of artists’ artwork related to breast cancer awareness will benefit Moffitt Cancer Center. Admission is free and open to the public.

Getting Heard
Lab Manager – Oct. 2
In addition to identifying all affected stakeholders, you must develop a clear understanding of the corporate strategy. “You must determine how a proposal around your idea fits in with the corporate strategy,” says Mark Lloyd, staff scientist, analytic microscopy core, at the H. Lee Moffitt Cancer Center and Research Institute.

Pat’s Place: It’s All About The Journey
The Myeloma Beacon – Oct. 2
My former specialist, who heads up Moffitt Cancer Center’s transplant unit, is not enthusiastic about this option. My new specialist is open to it, but if we decide to go for it, he would like me to do one within a clinical trial. I don’t have a matching donor yet, but statistics say that it’s likely I will find one within a reasonable time frame.

Shula’s 347 Grill Raises Funds to Fight Breast Cancer
WCTV (Tallahassee) – Oct. 1
Earlier this year the Moffitt Cancer Center announced the statewide partnership with Don Shula, the winningest NFL coach of all time, and his wife Mary Anne to establish The Shula Fund. The Shula Fund was established to raise funds for breast cancer care and research in Florida and beyond. The Shula’s $1.5 million donation will help improve care for the more than 1,000 new diagnosed breast cancer patients who are treated at Moffitt each year. The fund selects the most promising breast cancer research projects being conducted at Moffitt to fund.

HPV Vaccination Rates Still Low for Boys
Live Science – Oct. 1
“While vaccinating males may benefit female partners, it is critical for physicians and parents to recognize the positive health impacts for males and females,” said Susan Vadaparampil, a researcher at Moffitt Cancer Center in Tampa, Florida, and senior author on the report, which will be published in an upcoming issue of the journal Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers & Prevention.

PSA Bounce After Radiotherapy May Be Associated With Outcomes in Patients With Prostate Cancer
The ASCO Post – Oct. 1
Richard B. Wilder, MD, of the Department of Radiation Oncology, Moffitt Cancer Center, Tampa, Florida, is the corresponding author of this article in the International Journal of Clinical Oncology.

Moffitt hosts cancer symposium for Latinos
Tampa Bay Times – Oct. 1
Moffitt Cancer Center hosts its biennial Latinos y el cáncer Educational Symposium on Saturday from 9:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. The free event, conducted entirely in Spanish, will take place in the Vincent A. Stabile Research Building at 12902 Magnolia Drive.

New cancer therapy comes of age, cost a ‘toxic’ side effect
Reuters – Sept. 30
Jeffrey Weber, a cancer doctor at the Moffitt Cancer Center in Florida, who has led much of the research on Bristol-Myers' immune system drug Opdivo, is a big believer in the potential of immunotherapy but shares the concerns about costs.

ESMO 2014: BRAF/MEK Inhibitor Combinations Impressive in Melanoma Trials
The ASCO Post – Sept. 30
“The two combination trials presented here today are compelling. We have at least two combination therapies that look beneficial,” commented Jeffrey S. Weber, MD, of H. Lee Moffitt Cancer Center in Tampa, at an ESMO press briefing. Dr. Weber presented a separate study of nivolumab vs chemotherapy in previously treated patients, showing that 95% of responders to the immunotherapy were still in remission at 24 weeks.

ESMO 2014: Nivolumab Shows Signs of Superior Response Rate Compared to Standard Chemotherapy in Advanced Melanoma
The ASCO Post – Sept. 30
“Previously-treated advanced melanoma patients have limited options,” said the study’s principal investigator, Jeffrey S. Weber, MD, Director of the Donald A. Adam Comprehensive Melanoma Research Center of Excellence at the H. Lee Moffitt Cancer Center, Tampa, Florida.

Dabrafenib/Trametinib Combo Improves Survival Over Vemurafenib in Phase III COMBI-v Trial
OncLive – Sept. 30
The data are consistent with results from multiple studies that have demonstrated substantially better efficacy with combination targeted therapy in advanced melanoma, said Jeffrey Weber, MD, head of Melanoma Research at the H. Lee Moffitt Cancer Center. Collectively, the favorable data have sounded the “death knell” for chemotherapy in advanced melanoma.

Women at risk for breast cancer have new decisions to make
Sarasota Herald-Tribune – Sept. 30
For some of these women, the data support the decision for a prophylactic, or risk-reducing mastectomy, says Catherine Lee. Lee is an associate member of the Comprehensive Breast Program at the H. Lee Moffitt Cancer Center and Research Institute and an associate professor of surgery at the University of South Florida Morsani School of Medicine, both in Tampa.

Check out wellness events to stay healthy
Orlando Sentinel – Sept. 30
Living With Advanced Cancer: 10 a.m.-11:30 a.m. First and third Fridays of the month. Moffitt Cancer Center in The Villages. Pre-registration is required. Call 800-227-2345.

Esmo – Mek combo competitors fight, but battle could be elsewhere
EP Vantage – Sept. 29
That said, experts at Esmo were united that this battle was basically too close to call. The Lee Moffitt Cancer Centre’s Dr Jeffrey Weber said the Combi-v and CoBrim results were “fairly close”, and the important point was that there were now two combinations that benefited patients.

UPDATE 1-Bristol immune drug shows strong effect in melanoma study
Reuters – Sept. 29
“I was very nicely surprised,” said Jeffrey Weber of the Moffitt Cancer Center in Florida, who presented the results at the European Society of Medical Oncology annual congress on Monday.

ESMO: Bristol-Myers, Roche, AstraZeneca, GSK, Merck jostle for spotlight
FierceBiotech – Sept. 29
“These data are important as they mark the first presentation of results from a Phase III randomized study for the PD-1 immune checkpoint inhibitor class,” said Jeffrey S. Weber, director of the Donald A. Adam Comprehensive Melanoma Research Center at Moffitt Cancer Center.

Targeted Drugs Build on Efficacy Record in Melanoma
MedPage Today – Sept. 29
“I think there is no question this will sound the death knell for chemotherapy in second- and third-line melanoma, which is good,” Jeffrey S. Weber, MD, PhD, of Moffitt Cancer Center in Tampa, Fla., told MedPage Today. “Ask any medical oncologist who treats melanoma patients, and they will tell you, with reluctance, that they will use chemotherapy when there are no other options for second- and third-line therapy.”

‘Impressive’ Duration of Response With Nivolumab in Melanoma
Medscape – Sept. 29
In the first phase 3 trial to be reported with the investigational immunotherapy nivolumab, the drug showed an “impressive” duration of response when used as a second- or third-line therapy in patients with advanced melanoma, said Jeffrey Weber, MD, from the Comprehensive Melanoma Research Centers of Excellence at the Moffitt Cancer Center in Tampa, Florida. These data have been filed for approval in both Europe and the United States, where the drug has breakthrough status.

Dr. Weber on Nivolumab Versus Chemotherapy in Advanced Melanoma
OncLive – Sept. 29
Jeffrey S. Weber, MD, PhD, medical oncologist, Moffitt Cancer Center, discusses the results of a phase III randomized, open-label study of nivolumab compared with investigator’s choice chemotherapy for the treatment of patients with advanced melanoma after prior anti-CTLA-4 therapy.

Nivolumab Beats Chemotherapy as Second-Line Treatment for Advanced Melanoma
OncLive – Sept. 29
“Nivolumab is superior to chemotherapy for patients that have failed prior ipilimumab, and in my view, should replace chemotherapy in routine practice as second-line or even third-line therapy in melanoma,” said Weber, the director of the Donald A. Adam Comprehensive Melanoma Research Center of Excellence at the Moffitt Cancer Center, Tampa.

Local survivor says miracle drug saved her from hospice. Now there’s proof it’s working on others
ABC Action News – Sept. 29
Now doctors like Hatem Soliman of Moffitt Cancer Center use it as part of their standard care for certain breast cancer patients. An update to a Perjeta study released Sunday shows the drug is adding an average 16 months to patients’ survival time.

Project Pink: Tests available to assess risk from gene mutation
The Florida Times-Union – Sept. 29
When someone receives a positive result for a hereditary gene mutation, it’s important that person’s blood relatives get tested as well, said Laura Thompson, a psychologist at Moffitt Cancer Center in Tampa.

Breast Cancer Awareness Month: 8 places to get your pink on
SouthFlorida.com “The Go Guide” blog – Sept. 29
Las Olas Art Fair:  The 27th annual display, now known as the Cadillac Las Olas Art Fair, will return to downtown Fort Lauderdale Oct. 18-19 with its usual cornucopia of live music, refreshments and art, with many pieces inspired by the fight against breast cancer. Proceeds from these works will be donated to the Moffitt Cancer Center, a not-for-profit, National Cancer Institute-affiliated hospital in Tampa. Visit ArtFestival.com.

First phase III data for BMS’ anti-PD1 nivolumab
PMLiVE – Sept. 29
“Previously-treated advanced melanoma patients have limited options,” said the lead investigator in the study, Jeffrey Weber of the Moffitt Cancer Centre in Florida, US, who said he was “nicely surprised” by the strength of the data.

UPDATE 1-Early data promising for AstraZeneca cancer drug combination
Reuters – Sept. 27
Still, researcher Scott Antonia of the Moffitt Cancer Center in Florida said the early signals were encouraging, both for safety and efficacy. “It looks very, very promising,” he said.

Mitchell Cancer Institute sets sights on National Cancer Institute designation, reaffirms focus on ‘bench to bedside’ model
AL.com (The Birmingham News, The Huntsville Times, Mobile’s Press Register) – Sept. 26
The gifts continued as did the recruitment of top-notch talent, and Finan and Owen agree the the result is a facility that holds its own against MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston and Moffitt Cancer Center in Tampa, Fla.

Health Care Heroes 2014: Dr. Damon Reed
Tampa Bay Business Journal – Sept. 26
Health care innovation & research category winner, Dr. Damon Reed, Medical director, Sarcoma Department, Moffitt Cancer Center

Look for this year’s BFGD cancer fundraising shirts on sale soon
Boca Beacon – Sept. 25
Who doesn’t want a hot-pink fireman’s shirt? Okay, maybe a few people. But for the less adventurous who wouldn’t, the BGFD will add a blue shirt to its annual sale to raise money for Moffitt Cancer Center.

The 100 Best Companies For Working Moms
Business Insider – Sept. 16
Here’s the full list of the 100 best companies for working moms from Working Mother magazine: Moffitt Cancer Center

2014 Working Mother 100 Best Companies
Working Mother – September 2014
Moffitt Cancer Center: After they give birth or adopt a child, women at this cancer hospital and research center can take four to 16 paid weeks off. Once back at work, they may join the new Generation M program, which offers social events, mentoring, career seminars and work- shops and can bring them up to speed on recent professional developments.

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