• Ludwig Cancer Research of New York, NY, gave $540 million to fund cancer research at the six U.S. Ludwig Centers, which are located at Harvard University, Johns Hopkins University, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Institute, Stanford University, and the University of Chicago.

  • Pfizer and The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston announced that they will collaborate to develop immune-based approaches to cancer treatment. The 3-year agreement is designed to help speed progress on immune-based treatments and to more efficiently identify and exploit new combination therapies, as well as biomarkers to guide and monitor treatment.

  • Researchers estimate that tobacco control efforts in the United States have prevented about 8 million premature deaths, with those people each gaining about 20 years of life on average (JAMA 2014;311:164–71). According to a second study, although the percentage of the population that smokes daily has decreased, the number of cigarette smokers worldwide has increased due to population growth (JAMA 2014;311:183–92).

  • In a review published in the New England Journal of Medicine, researchers wrote that tripling taxes on cigarettes worldwide would reduce the number smokers by one third and prevent 200 million premature deaths from lung cancer and other diseases in this century (N Engl J Med 2014;370:60–8).

  • The city council in New York City, NY, voted to expand its ban on indoor smoking to include e-cigarettes, battery-operated devices that deliver nicotine vapor to users. Several states, including Arkansas, New Jersey, North Dakota, and Utah, have already added e-cigarettes to their indoor smoking bans.

  • The success rate for competing research project grant (RPG) applications submitted to the NIH fell from 17.6% in fiscal year (FY) 2012 to 16.8% in FY2013, blogged Sally Rockey, PhD, the deputy director for Extramural Research at NIH (http://nexus.od.nih.gov/all/2013/12/18). In FY2013, NIH received 49,581 RPG applications, of which 8,310 were awarded, compared with 51,313 applications and 9,032 awards in FY2012.

For more news on cancer research, visit Cancer Discovery online at http://CDnews.aacrjournals.org.