December Newsmakers

AACR 2021 Dusoarutues Report

AACR Report Highlights Disparities in Cancer and the Need for Health Equity (AJMC)

Featuring Nadine Barrett, PhD, Steve Patierno, PhD, and Daniel George, MD, who contributed to this report.

The Harmful Chemical Lurking in Your Children’s Toys (The New York Times)
Features Heather Stapleton, PhD

Changes Needed to Address Financial Hardship from Cancer (University of Colorado Cancer Center)
Features Yousuf Zafar, MD, MHS

Crowdsourcing for Cancer Therapy Favors Advantaged  (Medscape)
Features Yousuf Zafar, MD

Arif Kamal, MD, MBA, MHS, FAAHPM, Re-elected to a Second and Final 3-Year Term on the AAHPM Board of Directors as a Director-at-Large (AAHPM)

Shining a light on the role of the genome's 'dark matter' in cancer development: Potential role of long non-coding RNAs in pancreatic cancer (Science Daily)
Features Duke-NUS Medical School/David Virshup, MD 

Finding the Signaling Pathway That Helps Cancers Grow (Oncology Times)
Features Duke-NUS Medical School/David Virshup, MD 

Getting it just right - the Goldilocks model of cancer (AAAS)
Features Duke-NUS Medical School/David Virshup, MD 

Clinical Research Workshop looks at new ways to conceptualize clinical trials (San Antonio Breast Cancer Symposium News)
Features Lola Fayanju, MD, MA, MPHS, FACS

RAPT Therapeutics Reports Positive Initial Data from Ongoing Phase 1/2 Clinical Trial of FLX475 in Multiple Cancer Indications (
Features Scott Antonia, MD, PhD

Wax Named Editor-in-Chief of SPIE Journal Optical Engineering (Duke BME Digital Magazine)
Features Adam Wax, PhD

New Gift to Duke Continues Support for Early Career Physician Scientists (Duke Health Development)
Features Yvonne Mowery, PhD

Chilkoti Receives $13.7 Million in Funding to Prototype a Rapid, Portable Diagnostic for Soldiers and Global Health (Pratt School of Engineering)
Features Ashutosh Chilkoti, PhD

Developing Diagnostics to Catch COVID-19 (Duke BME Digital Magazine)
Features Ashutosh Chilkoti, PhD

Duke’s Engineering Response Team Designs Solutions to Pandemic Problems (Duke BME Digital Magazine)
Features Amanda Randles, PhD

Saterbak Launches New Journal Focused on Education in Biomedical Engineering (Duke Biomedical Engineering)
Features Ann Saterbak, PhD


Contemporary Multi-Institutional Cohort of 550 Cases of Phyllodes Tumors (2007-2017) Demonstrates a Need for More Individualized Margin Guidelines  Journal of Clinical Oncology. Dec. 10, 2020. Laura H. Rosenberger, MD, MS; Samantha M. Thomas, MS; Suniti N. Nimbkar, MD; Tina J. Hieken, MD; Kandice K. Ludwig, MD; Lisa K. Jacobs, MD; Megan E. Miller, MD; Kristalyn K. Gallagher, DO; Jasmine Wong, MD; Heather B. Neuman, MD; Jennifer Tseng, MD; Taryn E. Hassinger, MD, MS; Tari A. King, MD; and James W. Jakub, MD.

Crowdfunded Cancer Care—A Reflection on Health Care Delivery in the US. (invited commentary) JAMA. Dec. 3, 2020. S. Yousuf Zafar, MD, MHS

Tumour extracellular vesicle‐derived Complement Factor H promotes tumorigenesis and metastasis by inhibiting complement‐dependent cytotoxicity of tumour cells. Journal of Extracellular Vesicles. Nov. 28, 2020. Xiaowen Mao, Longyin Zhou, Sze Keong Tey, Angel Po Yee Ma, Cherlie Lot Sum Yeung, Tung Him Ng, Samuel Wan Ki Wong, Bonnie Hei Man Liu, Yi Man Eva Fung, Edward F. Patz Jr., Peihua Cao, Yi Gao, Judy Wai Ping Yam.

Combination of Radiotherapy and Short-Term Androgen Blockade with Abiraterone Acetate plus Prednisone for Men with High and Intermediate Risk Localized Prostate Cancer
. Int J Radiat Oncol Biol Phys. Nov. 28, 2020. Koontz BF, Hoffman KE, Halabi S, Healy P, Anand M, George DJ, Harrison MR, Zhang T, Berry WR, Corn PG, Lee WR, Armstrong AJ.
*According to first author Bridget Koontz, MD, who led the study, this single arm two institution phase II trial by the GU team at Duke tested the hypothesis that the length of hormonal therapy used in conjunction with definitive radiation for small volume aggressive prostate cancer could be reduced while still maintaining good disease control. The impact is that the study increases the recognition that there may be options for tailoring ADT, even high risk prostate cancer patients, which could improve patient quality of life.

Time to add screening for financial hardship as a quality measure? CA: A Cancer Journal for Clinicians. Nov. 23, 2020. Cathy J. Bradley PhD, K. Robin Yabroff PhD, S. Yousuf Zafar MD, Ya‐Chen Tina Shih PhD.

The once and future gene therapy Nature Communications. Nov. 16, 2020. Karen Bulaklak & Charles A. Gersbach.

Patient-reported causes of distress predict disparities in time to evaluation and time to treatment after breast cancer diagnosis. Cancer. Nov. 11, 2020. Oluwadamilola M Fayanju, Yi Ren, Ilona Stashko, Steve Power, Madeline J Thornton, P Kelly Marcom, Terry Hyslop, E Shelley Hwang.
*This study found Black patients to have lower baseline distress scores after breast cancer diagnosis than White patients; however, Black patients experienced less improvement in distress over time, indicating that stressors and distress levels might have been under-reported at baseline. Being Black also was associated with a longer time to treatment (47 days vs 45 days for White patients), higher disease stage at diagnosis, and presence of practical stressors. Hispanic participants had the longest median length from diagnosis to treatment (71 days), which was associated with existence of practical stressors and higher baseline distress scores (compared with White patients). “We really need to develop anticipatory and culturally responsive approaches in order to make sure that we are helping people during this critical period between evaluation and treatment and where we know disparities exist,” said Lola Fayanju, MD, MA, MPHS, FACS, at the San Antonio Breast Cancer Virtual Symposium this month. “PROs in this case can allow us … to not only capture areas where patients need help but potentially also decrease disparities.”

In vivo optical metabolic imaging of long-chain fatty acid uptake in orthotopic models of triple negative breast cancer. BioRXiv. Nov. 2, 2020. Megan C. Madonna, Joy E. Duer, Joyce V. Lee, Jeremy Williams, Baris Avsaroglu, Caigang Zhu, Riley Deutsch, Roujia Wang, Brian T. Crouch, Matthew D Hirschey, Andrei Goga, Nirmala Ramanujam.

Environmental Quality and Invasive Breast Cancer. Cancer Epidemiol Biomarkers Prev Oct. 29, 2020. Larisa M Gearhart-Serna; Kate Hoffman; Gayathri R Devi.