We are requesting funds to provide partial meeting support for the annual meetings of the "Translational Regional Cancer Center Consortium" or TrC3. The TrC3 is a cancer immunotherapy network, established to promote biologic therapeutics in the Midwestern and Northeastern regions of the United States. For the past 14 years, laboratory and clinical researches from several of this region's cancer centers have met annually in order to exchange information about the research and new clinical trials underway at their respective cancer centers. These centers include: Abramson Cancer Center at the University of Pennsylvania, Barbara Ann Karmanos Cancer Institute at Wayne State University;Case Comprehensive Cancer Center;Mary Babb Randolph Cancer Center at West Virginia University;The Ohio State University Comprehensive Cancer Center;Penn State Cancer Institute;Roswell Park Cancer Institute;University of Pittsburgh Cancer Institute. These cancer centers are well within a couple of hours to a half day driving distance from one another. Therefore, this meeting provides benefit to researchers, physicians, other care providers and their patients in the areas bounded by these groups. Because biologic and immunologic therapy is gaining momentum, this meeting represents an important, accessible, affordable opportunity to obtain information regarding new therapeutic agents, scientific discoveries and clinical trials. This meeting has become a unique experience for various trainees in academic research including students, post-doctoral fellows, residents and other medical personnel to attend a formal scientific meeting, present data and network with experts in the field to establish professional relationships that will aid career development. These annual meetings are held the third week of February at The Seven Springs Resort in Seven Springs, PA. This central meeting site is within a reasonable driving distance from most member institutions. NCI funds will be essential for facilitating early planning, securing our conference facility, CME credit, effective advertising and maintaining an affordable registration rate to allow for trainees and underserved populations an opportunity to attend this meeting. This is especially important due to the uncertainty of institutional and corporate donations in the current financial climate. Securing NCI funds will help us to achieve the following goals of the TrC3: 1) To provide an educational opportunity for researchers and health professionals in the community on data pertinent to the biologic therapy of cancer;2) To strengthen collaborative research and clinical trials across member institutions that will benefit patients within this geographic region. This effort will be ld by a group of investigators from the consortium including the Principal Investigator: Dr. Gregory Lesinski (Ohio State), and Co-Investigators: Dr. Elizabeth Repasky (RPCI), Dr. Pawel Kalinski (UPMC). Each of these individuals has served as a Course Director for the TrC3 meeting, when it was held at each respective institution. These investigators communicate regularly with and receive guidance from a group of co-organizers from all member cancer centers.
The concept of using the immune system or other biologic therapies to fight cancer is gaining tremendous momentum. This meeting will provide an affordable opportunity for various investigators and trainees from the region to come together to receive vital education on the most recent developments in this field. Furthermore, it will allow for the opportunity to develop joint clinical trials using new promising biologic agents that will e available to patients in geographic regions with a traditionally high incidence of cancer.