Newsletter #1

April 2009 Last version found on the wiki

One Research Court, Suite 200
Rockville, MD 20850
Tel: 301-948-3033
Fax: 301-948-2242

Executive Committee: Lawrence S. Lessin, MD MACP; Ian Magrath, DSc, FRCP, FRCPath; Dianne Kaseman, PhD RN; Anil Srivastava; Stephan Thieringer, PhD; Gerard L. Hanley, PhD; Aron Primack, MD; Andrea Okrentowich, Executive Coordinator.

Open Educational Resources for Cancer Newsletter
Dedicated to Open Global Cancer Education
Lead Organization
The International Network for Cancer Treatment and Research (INCTR)
Supporting Organization
Capital Technology Information Services (CTIS)

Welcome to the first in a series of OERC newsletters. You and all interested persons are warmly invited to read this newsletter and support the OERC project mission. If you do not wish to receive quarterly newsletters from OERC, please unsubscribe using the link provided at the end of this newsletter.

OERC intends to be vital and far reaching in its ultimate impact. To clarify the overall direction of the OERC project the following mission statement is provided:

· To create a open resource repository of cancer educational materials covering diverse aspects of oncology.

· To promote global sharing of cancer educational resources as proposed in the 2007 WHO report on cancer

· To utilize knowledge sharing to assist countries develop cancer control strategies

· To employ educational resources to enhance the capacities of physicians, nurses and care givers in developing countries to diagnose and treat cancer patients

· To provide free access to cutting edge basic and clinical cancer research information in user friendly format

· To contribute to the development of a research infrastructure and a research ethos for cancer care and prevention at a global level

The OERC executive committee has made considerable progress this past year and has begun a relationship with MERLOT, Multimedia Educational Resources for Learning and Online Teaching (, led by California State University System. MERLOT will provide free access to an online collection of donor contributed, categorized cancer learning materials (lectures, clinical guides, course curricula, videos, research summaries, etc.). Contributing partners are currently being identified and are being asked to submit materials. This initial phase of the project will permit immediate worldwide access to cancer education material. The Creative Commons policy will serve as the guide intellectual property matters.

INTCR is the lead affiliate organization of OERC committed to cancer education, control, treatment and research, primarily in developing countries.

INCTR's 8th Meeting on Cancer in Countries with Limited Resources was held in Antalya, Turkey in March 22-24, 2009, with more than 200 physicians and researchers from 40 countries in attendance. The meeting included awards for contributions to cancer control, keynote lectures, reports from INCTR programs, educational and scientific sessions, workshops, and "Meet the Expert" sessions. The first day featured lectures by INCTR award winners who have contributed significantly to cancer control in developing countries. INCTR members had the opportunity to present their own work either, as oral or poster presentations, based on submitted abstracts. INCTR provided many travel scholarships to individuals who would be otherwise unable to attend the meeting.

The educational and scientific sessions encompassed a broad range of topics, among them education and research in low resource settings, including the use of open access resources for education, ethical issues that are of particular importance in low and middle income countries, infectious diseases and cancer, AIDS associated malignancies, cancers in women and children, hematological malignancies, cancer of the gastrointestinal tract and palliative care.
Lawrence Lessin, MD, chair of OERC, gave a presentation of the OERC project and invited new contributors and users to join the project as partners. There was ample opportunity for discussion and exchange of ideas. [The OERC presentation and audience response will be detailed in the next Newsletter.] INCTR has a leading role in the development and promotion of OERC.

National Academy of Sciences Meeting
The Institute of Medicine and the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation cosponsored a meeting at the National Academy of Sciences from Sept. 3-4, 2008. The meeting entitled, Open Educational Resources in Health Symposium, was attended by participants from around the world and three of OERC's executive committee (Dr. Larry Lessin, Dr. Dianne Kaseman and Mr. Anil Srivastava). Some of the featured speakers included David T. Stern, MD, Mount Sinai School of Medicine; Harvey V. Fineberg, MD, Ph.D., President, IOM; and Catherine Casserly, Ph.D. Director of the OER resouces initiative, The William and Flora Hewlett Foundation. Other speakers addressed regional OER Health projects and issues as well as Creative Commons. An outgrowth of this symposium is a national OER for Health Planning initiative. OERC is part of the planning steering committee and is currently assisting in the development of an OER for health white paper. It is anticipated that this work will help guide the awarding of funds for OER health grants and project activities.

New Executive Coordinator
The OERC Executive Committee would like to welcome its newest member, Andrea Okrentowich. Andrea is the executive coordinator of OERC and a professional writer based in Connecticut. Her company, Creative Nonprofit Solutions, assists nonprofit organizations in their organizing, funding and marketing ventures. Andrea joined OERC as executive coordinator, to organize and assist the OERC members.
When she is not working, Andrea is an advocate for a grassroots organization known as the Public Housing Resident Network. She devotes many hours to speaking out for public housing resident rights. As an organizer, she works with many residents throughout Connecticut to assist them in persuading lawmakers to create laws that will provide them safe housing and a successful future.

Steering Committee Members
OERC Recognizes Steering Committee Members
It is a privilege and honor to recognize the members of the OERC steering committee. The members are linked to various organizations but do not necessarily represent the organizational opinions. Members of the steering committee will be asked to assist in identifying contributing members and users and to advise the project development. New members are currently being identified and all members will be featured in future newsletters. The members include to date:

1. Larry Lessin, Washington Cancer Institute/WHC (OERC Chair)
2. Anil Srivastava, Capital Technology Information Services
3. Aziza Shad, Georgetown University Pediatric Oncologist
4. Brenda Nevidjon, Oncology Nursing Society, Duke University
5. Dianne Kaseman, Health Care Consulting, Nursing Education
6. Elmer Huerta, MD, MPH Immediate Past President, American Cancer Society
7. Gracemarie Bricalli, European Society for Medical Oncology
8. Ian Magrath, INCTR
9. Joe Harford, National Cancer Institute/OIA
10. Leslie Derr, National Cancer Institute/CBIIT
11. Norman Coleman, National Cancer Institute/DCTD
12. Raj Shah, Capital Technology Information Services
13. Stephan Thieringer, Across World Education Company, Inc.
14. Svetlana Jezdic, European Society for Medical Oncology
15. Victor Vuchic, Flora and William Hewlett Foundation

This newsletter is featuring just a few of the steering committee members and others will be featured in future newsletters.

Dr. Lawrence Lessin's long term commitment to medical education, research and patient care has allowed him the opportunity to impart his knowledge in hematology and oncology to trainees and practicing physicians, while offering hope for patients with cancer and blood diseases. He has participated in the training of over 75 Fellows and research personnel in Hematology and Medical Oncology, as well as countless medical students and residents. His professional path has continued for more than 35 years in distinguished roles such as Professor, Division Head and Medical Director within prominent hospitals including Duke University Medical Center (Durham, NC), Veterans Administration Hospital (Durham, NC), and The George Washington University Medical Center and its Cancer Center (Washington, DC).
Over the past decade he fostered development of an extensive research program, now conducting over 40 clinical trails per year and bringing cutting edge therapies to over 200 patients annually. Through his many years of dedication to the control, diagnosis and treatment of cancer and related blood disorders Dr. Lessin has developed a national reputation as a medical educator, cancer program administrator and provider of high quality cancer care.

Dr. Joe Harford serves as Director of the Office of International Affairs (OIA) of the National Cancer Institute with responsibility for a number of interactions involving the NCI and non-U.S. cancer research institutions. Dr. Harford has a B.S. in chemistry and a Ph.D in biochemistry. His research career focused on receptor-mediated processes and post-transcriptional regulation of genes involved in cellular iron metabolism. He has published over 100 scientific papers and served as the Series Editor for Modern Cell Biology. He edited the volume mRNA Metabolism and Post-transcriptional Gene Regulation for this series. Dr. Harford is a founding editor for Current Protocols in Cell Biology and for Short Protocols in Cell Biology.

Brenda Nevidjon, MSN, RN, FAAN is President of the Oncology Nursing Society and Clinical Professor and Specialty Director for Nursing and Healthcare Leadership in the Masters Program at Duke University School of Nursing. Through diverse clinical and administrative experiences in Canada, Switzerland and the United States, she has devoted her energy to bridging practice settings and academic environments to advance patient care, creating innovative work environments, promoting scholarship in practitioners, and developing leaders. Ms. Nevidjon is a frequent speaker on leadership topics nationally and internationally. She is a past president of the Oncology Nursing Society Foundation, the Robert Wood Johnson Executive Nurse Fellows Alumni Association, and several local nursing and community organizations. Among her publications are two volumes of oncology nurses' narratives, as well as books, articles and chapters on oncology and leadership topics. She is a fellow in the American Academy of Nursing.

Ian Magrath received his qualifications in medicine from the University of London. He holds a higher doctoral degree in Medicine from Imperial College, London University and is a Fellow of the Royal College of Physicians and the Royal College of Pathologists. He has a special interest in the pathogenesis and treatment of non-Hodgkin's lymphomas, which developed early in his career when he spent 2 years as Director of the Lymphoma Treatment Center in Kampala (University of Makerere), Uganda. He subsequently joined the National Cancer Institute (NCI), Bethesda, Maryland (1974), and became Chief of the Lymphoma Biology Section of the Pediatric Oncology Branch. His work at the NCI was focused on the treatment and molecular pathogenesis of non-Hodgkin lymphomas, particularly Burkitt's lymphoma, as well as the role of Epstein-Barr virus in the pathogenesis of the latter disease. Among other things, his work resulted in a number of insights into the molecular lesions that cause the Burkitt lymphoma, including approaches to their therapeutic exploitation, and the development of a highly effective treatment approach that resulted in a 5 year survival rate (which, in this disease is a cure rate) of approximately 90% in children and adults up to the age of 60 years. During the last 25 years, he has had a particular interest in cancer control in developing countries and has been involved in the conduct of cancer control projects, clinical trials and basic research in many parts of the world, including India, Pakistan, Nepal, China, Mexico, Argentina, Brazil, Turkey, Tanzania, Kenya, Nigeria and Egypt. This led to his present position as President of the International Network for Cancer Treatment and Research (INCTR) in Brussels (in 2000), although he retains a position at the NCI.

Dr. Svetlana Jezdic joined ESMO (European Society for Medical Oncology) Head Office in 2007 to contribute her knowledge as a medical oncologist. She holds an MD, MSc degree in internal medicine and oncology from the School of Medicine, University in Belgrade, Serbia. Since joining ESMO as a member in 2000, she has been involved in various ESMO committee projects (Web Working Group, Medical Oncology Status in Europe and Young Oncologists Committee). In 2004 she passed the ESMO Examination in medical oncology and in 2005 received an ESMO Foundation Translational Research Unit Grant at Institute Gustave Roussy, Villejuif, France. She is also a member of the ASCO Professional Development Committee (Career Development Subcommittee) and serves as liaison to the ASCO International Affairs Committee. Before joining the ESMO staff, she spent nine years as a practicing medical oncologist dedicated to care and treatment of cancer patients at the Clinic for Medical Oncology, Institute for Oncology and Radiology of Serbia. Her cross-functional task within the ESMO Head Office is to focus on providing medical and scientific input to the ESMO various projects and activities. She is a staff coordinator of the ESMO-ASCO Global Core Curriculum Task Force for training in medical oncology.

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