ICEC Essential News Letter

Volume 1|Number 3| December 2016

ICEC Essential News Letter                                                           Volume 1| Number 3|  December 2016


The third ICEC Essential News Letter of 2016 provides updates from activities over the last five months. Building from the more detailed description of the various components and activities in the June 2016 Essential News Letter (Vol 1, No 2) we provide updates and a progress report. The growing trends toward isolationism and xenophobia make efforts of collaboration, person-to-person connectivity and sustainable partnerships such as those of ICEC even more important on a global level. Understanding the issues behind the global trends rather than simple condemnation can be of benefit in helping to improve existing relationships and conditions and to work toward novel approaches that can counterbalance intolerance. Being apolitical and global as well as focusing on cancer that transcends borders, ICEC is in an excellent position to build new models and bridges. As our recent efforts illustrate, we are well on our way to doing just that.

While still largely an “all-volunteer” organization we recruited a Chief Operating Officer and have rented office space in the University of California Washington Center building in Washington DC where the Consortium of Universities for Global Health (CUGH) is also located.  We continue to build an outstanding Board of Directors and an erudite Advisory Board. We have hosted introductory receptions in Washington DC and New York City, have made presentations at radiation oncology and global health meetings and have authored additional publications with new ideas and accomplishments. To illustrate our truly global scope, ICEC organized with the European Organization for Nuclear Research (CERN) (the folks who found the Higg’s boson and other incredible accomplishments) who hosted a first-of-its-kind meeting on radiation technology in Geneva. More on this later.

Organization and Operations

The ICEC Central Operations Working Group convenes weekly and consists of: Dave Pistenmaa (Chief Programs Officer and Executive Secretary), Larry Roth (President), Nina Wendling (Chief Operating Officer), Norm Coleman (Chief Scientific Advisor), Emine Ozbay, David Kramer (Technical Advisor), Harmar Brereton, Nelson Chao and Donna O’Brien.
– Our website has fully migrated to hosting by TECHNA and email to 1&1, both housed in North America. We are working on migration of our data to to facilitate efficient business and financial operations. We hired a financial and accounting service – Kathleen M. Flaherty, CPA, and Principal of Matthews, Carter & Boyce – to provide independent audits and data that has already been presented to the Board of Directors.
The “volunteer” staff is providing extensive expertise:  Costing out the hours of volunteerism we have had donated over the first ten months of 2016, using the NIH FTE rate, not necessarily the actual salaries which would be greater, what amounts to approximately $417,000. We have established an award system for donated time on an annual basis. Awards will be listed on the website in the following categories: Bronze- 50 hours; Silver- 100, Gold- 200, Platinum-300, and Diamond- 400 (or equivalent to >8 hours per week or “20% FTE”. Data reflecting these donated hours will soon be posted on the website, and the final accounting for 2016 will be included in the first Essential News Letter of 2017.


– Working through the various procedures of the US Government and NIH, we are closer to establishing a teleconference and TELESYNERGY facility. This will be moved (yet again) into the NCI Radiation Research Program space.  With assistance from the Center for Biomedical Informatics and Information Technology (CBIIT) at NIH, and Open Systems Health Laboratory (OHSL), an NGO in Rockville with whom ICEC is working, we are getting this system ready for use by ICEC.

 Board of Directors and Advisory Board

– The members of the Boards and biographies are on the ICEC website link.

–  In 2016, the ICEC Board of Directors held six regularly scheduled bi-monthly conference calls and two, day-long in-person meetings to review and support the organization’s programmatic, financial and strategic progress. The board is comprised of 14 members (two non-voting) and continues to identify additional prospective members.

Outreach and Development:

– Our Outreach and Development group is working on applications for funds from foundations. While a very long shot, we submitted an application to the McArthur Foundation program 100&Change. While ICEC has been notified that it is not one of the 10 semi-finalists, we are encouraged to learn that the foundation plans to include the executive summary of our proposal in materials that they anticipate sharing with other funders. ICEC is very much open to your suggestions, contacts, support and assistance for funding.

– The organization’s first informational reception was held on June 1 with the generous support from the Department of Radiation Oncology at the Princess Margaret Cancer Center and the Washington, DC office of Baker and McKenzie, LLP. Baker & McKenzie is the largest international law firm in the world, with lawyers in 77 offices across 47 countries. The speakers at the reception demonstrated ICEC’s unique breadth. A summary of the reception may be found on the ICEC website.

– The second informational reception was held at the New York Athletic Club, graciously hosted by Thomas and Donna O’Brien and generously underwritten by Strategic Visions in Healthcare and Pfizer. The evening was highlighted by a short program which included overviews of several compelling initiatives focused on improving access to, and the delivery of, global cancer care. Speakers included Dr. C. Norm Coleman, Senior Scientific Advisor to the ICEC; Dr. Nelson Chao, MD, MBA, Director of the Global Cancer Institute at Duke University; John “Mac” Longo, MD, of the Medical College of Wisconsin; Onyinye Balogun, MD, Assistant Professor of Radiation Oncology at Weill Cornell Medical College; and lastly, Silvia C. Formenti, MD, the Chair of Radiation Oncology at Weill Cornell Medical College and Radiation Oncologist-in-Chief at New York-Presbyterian/Weill Cornell Medical Center. The reception was well attended by many of ICEC’s current and global partners. A summary of the reception may be found on the ICEC website.

– The Ellen Lewis Stovall Early Career Leaders Award has proved to have made a significant difference in the careers of recent awardees. Dr. Onyinye Balogun was recently presented with the award complementing the efforts of the other early career leaders including Danielle Rodin, Mac Longo, Surbhi Grover, Tracy Sherertz and Mira Shah. Individual stipends and a group award were presented to the awardees with the funds to be used at their discretion.

– The Dr. Rodney R. Million Fund for Innovation in Clinical Care has been established by a generous contribution from the Million family to support cancer educational activities in Africa. This new fund was announced at the June 1 reception. Lynn Million, MD, an ICEC Expert in pediatric radiation oncology will be spending a sabbatical in Africa this summer to help ICEC assess needs and develop programs in that region of the world.

– More information about making a contribution to support the Stovall Award or the Million Fund, or to submit an application to join ICEC, can be found on the ICEC website donation page.

ICEC Centers and Associates/Hubs and Experts:

– We are building the rosters for the initial ICEC programs which are from existing twinning programs. We are finalizing a “5-step phase-in” program by which ICEC Centers will progress to where they can demonstrate that they have high-level quality assurance programs and are capable of participating in global cancer care and research efforts. It is anticipated that this 5-step approach will be available for review by the end of 2016.

Indigenous populations:

Building on the success of the “Walking Forward” program for American Indians in South Dakota (Hub and Center) we are working with other interested groups to make indigenous populations an integral component of global health. The session on indigenous populations at the UICC meeting in Paris in November 2016 reinforced ICEC’s determination to strengthen this aspect of ICEC’s program on global health. In recognition of these outstanding efforts, the Journal of Global Oncology is interested in promoting a section related to indigenous populations.

 Partners & Career Path:

–  Essential ingredients for sustainable global health efforts are partnerships among existing programs and development of a sustainable career path in global health. ICEC works closely with MPWB (Medical Physicists for World Benefit) and Radiating Hope. The huge scope of the global shortage in cancer care makes it important to work toward solutions that meet the scope of the problem.  While competition for ideas is always important, ICEC is proactive in the following ways:

–  ICEC’s new office abuts the Consortium of Universities for Global Health (CUGH) with whom we already collaborate.

–  There is a developing partnership with governmental and private agencies and NGO’s interested in the security of medical radiation sources (Cobalt-60) and nuclear non-proliferation.  The former include the US Department of Energy’s National Nuclear Security Agency and the International Atomic Energy Agency.  With regard to nuclear non-proliferation, we work with the James Martin Foundation for Non-Proliferation and the World Institute for Nuclear Security, a true NGO.

–  ICEC will present a poster entitled “Security of global nuclear material requires addressing the unacceptable lack of cancer care” at the International Conference on Nuclear Security: Commitments and Action that will be hosted by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) December 5-9, 2016 in Vienna (described below).

– ASCO’s International Affairs Committee, ASTRO, RANZCR, the American Brachytherapy Society and Radiating Hope have joined the list of professional societies and organizations that endorse the activities of the ICEC. In addition, we are having ongoing discussions with SCAROP, American Society of Clinical Pathology, ONS and others regarding formalizing relationships with these professional societies and other organizations. We also have had initial discussions with the National Coalition for Cancer Survivorship.

 ICEC-sponsored, CERN-hosted workshop for innovative radiation technology:

The first of its kind workshop regarding the need for radiation therapy education and training for a workforce to be able to safely use innovative linear accelerator technology was held at CERN, the European Organization for Nuclear Research, in Geneva on November 7-8, 2016. Organized by Norm Coleman and Dave Pistenmaa, ICEC, and Manjit Dosanjh, CERN, the workshop had almost 70 attendees even though attendance was limited by invitation. The initial impetus was to address the need to replace cobalt-60 treatment units with novel linear accelerator technology to reduce the risk of un- or poorly-secured radioactive material.  The meeting was well-received and extraordinarily productive. A full report is in preparation with the general conclusions that there are now opportunities, ideas and interest in such an effort. Four Task Groups will be formed to work on 1) enhancing currently available treatment systems with innovative software, 2) developing novel hardware as well as software technological systems solutions, 3) augmenting and upgrading education and training modules to ensure optimal use of new or improved treatment systems and 4) developing and implementing innovative economic models to sustain the ICEC-led program.  ICEC thanks Varian,  Accuray, Elekta, CERN and others for their participation and support of the workshop.


– Norm Coleman received the Failla Award from the Radiation Research Society at the annual meeting in Kona Hawaii, October 2016. The title of the “Failla Award and Lectureship” presentation was “Radiation Stress Response: Of the People, By the People and For the People.” The presentation described how, throughout his career, his expertise in radiation sciences and cancer care was used for the benefits of humankind in science, government, public service and global cancer care.

– Nina Wendling, representing ICEC, participated in the Louisville, KY Ironman on October 9. Competing in our ICEC cycling kits, Nina uses these race forums to raise awareness of and garner interest in global cancer care.

Presentations related to ICEC at various meetings:

– ASTRO, Global Health, October

– UICC, Paris, October

– CERN hosted, ICEC sponsored workshop for innovative radiation technology, November

– Standford Medical School – “Addressing the enormous need for global cancer care (and NCDs): From gap to vision to implementation” Revised based on recent events: Using our skills as healthcare providers and scientists to effectively address societal issues. Stanford Med School 228, Physicians and Social Responsibility. November 28, 2016IAEA – International Conference on Nuclear Security: Commitments and Actions; Vienna, Dec 5-9.

-IAEA – International Conference on Nuclear Security: Commitments and Actions; Vienna, Dec 5-9. “Security of global nuclear material requires addressing the unacceptable lack of cancer care”.

(since the last Essential News Letter related to ICEC and/or from ICEC members relevant to global health; readers, please provide additional citations)

– An editorial summarizing the Treatment, not Terror concept is in press, Journal of Global Oncology

– Masters of Our Destiny: From Jazz Quartet to Symphony Orchestra. Coleman CN. Int J Radiat Oncol Biol Phys. 2016 Nov 1;96(3):511-3

– Radiotherapy for breast cancer: The predictable consequences of an unmet need. Rodin D, Knaul FM, Lui TY, Gospodarowicz M. Breast. 2016 Oct;29:120-2. doi: 10.1016/j.breast.2016.07.006.

– The power of integration: radiotherapy and global palliative care. Rodin D, Grover S, Elmore SN, Knaul FM, Atun R, Caulley L, Herrera CA, Jones JA, Price AJ, Munshi A, Gandhi AK, Shah C, Gospodarowicz M. Ann Palliat Med. 2016 Jul;5(3):209-17

– Essential medicines for cancer: WHO recommendations and national priorities. Robertson J, Barr R, Shulman LN, Forte GB, Magrini N. Bull World Health Organ. 2016 Oct 1;94(10):735-742.