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    News: Cancer Research

    Melanoma study finds new way to enhance targeted therapies

    Friday, March 10th, 2017

    With the help of a drug formerly used to treat HIV/AIDS, researchers at Vanderbilt University Medical Center (VUMC) have found a way to make melanoma cells more vulnerable to targeted anti-cancer therapy. Since the AIDS drug is already FDA approved, clinical testing in melanoma patients could potentially begin sooner than if it was a novel […]

    Investigators seek new way to define cell identity

    Monday, March 6th, 2017

    Jonathan Irish, Ph.D., and colleagues have developed a new way to describe and identify cells. (photo by John Russell)Jonathan Irish, Ph.D., and his colleagues have developed a new language, one that can be used to describe and identify cells. The language — marker enrichment modeling, or MEM — assigns a “MEM label” to cells based […]

    Improving therapies for GI tumors

    Thursday, February 23rd, 2017

    The signaling protein Aurora kinase A (AURKA) is overexpressed in several cancer types and has diverse oncogenic functions, making it an attractive druggable cancer target. Wael El-Rifai, M.D., Ph.D., and colleagues are exploring a role for AURKA in upper gastrointestinal cancers, which are characterized by poor patient survival and resistance to chemotherapy. Using in vitro […]

    Team identifies ‘switch’ involved in DNA replication

    Thursday, February 23rd, 2017

    DNA replication is an extraordinarily complex multi-step process that makes copies of the body’s genetic blueprint. It is necessary for growth and essential to life. Now researchers at the California Institute of Technology (Caltech) and Vanderbilt University have found evidence that one of those steps may involve the telephone-like transmission of electrical signals regulated by […]

    New target for chronic infection

    Thursday, February 2nd, 2017

    The greatest risk factor for gastric cancer is chronic infection by the bacterium, Helicobacter pylori. In a study in mice published by the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, Dana Hardbower, Keith Wilson, M.D., and colleagues found that macrophage activation has a critical role in regulating H. pylori colonization and gastric inflammation. Macrophages are […]

    National Cancer Institute’s Lowy details HPV virus research efforts

    Thursday, February 2nd, 2017

    Douglas Lowy, M.D., acting director of the National Cancer Institute (NCI), warned that worldwide death rates from cervical cancer are expected to increase in low- and middle-income countries during the next 15 years unless steps are taken to prevent the cancer from occurring. Almost all cases of cervical cancer are linked to a viral infection. […]

    Colorectal cancer clues

    Thursday, January 26th, 2017

    The colorectum (large intestine) is divided into proximal and distal regions based on differences in embryonic origin, physiological functions and gene expression. Colorectal cancer is heterogeneous depending on its location: for example, proximal tumors have a higher mortality than distal tumors. It is not known, however, whether molecular events contribute to the differences in cancers […]

    Study finds that COX-2 can also slow down tumor growth

    Thursday, January 19th, 2017

    More than a decade after the anti-inflammatory drugs Vioxx and Bextra were pulled from the market because of a heightened risk of heart attack and stroke in some patients, COX-2 inhibitors may be on the verge of a comeback, this time as anti-cancer agents. That’s due in part to the persistence of researchers at Vanderbilt […]

    Softening tumor tissue could aid cancer treatments

    Thursday, January 19th, 2017

    Normally, the glue that holds cells together in the human body – what scientists call the extracellular matrix – is soft and pliable. But when a metastatic tumor forms it causes the matrix surrounding it to stiffen. According to a new study, this mechanical effect produces changes in the blood vessels that feed the tumor […]

    VICC joins cancer genomic data sharing initiative

    Thursday, January 19th, 2017

    Vanderbilt-Ingram Cancer Center (VICC) has joined an international consortium of leading cancer centers to share genomic data from patients in an effort to accelerate the pace of cancer research and improve precision medicine. That consortium has now released 19,000 de-identified genomic and partial clinical records collected from patients who were treated at eight international institutions […]

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