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News: Drug Discovery

Drug combos enhance ovarian cancer cell death

Monday, August 24th, 2015

Ovarian cancer is often diagnosed at an advanced stage and frequently develops resistance to platinum chemotherapy. Identifying new drug combinations to overcome platinum resistance is a critical clinical challenge. They report in the Journal of Ovarian Research that combined thymoquinone and cisplatin had synergistic anti-tumor effects in cultured cells. The drug combination reduced tumor burden and […]

Anticancer olive compounds

Thursday, July 30th, 2015

Natural compounds from plants – phytochemicals – provide a variety of health benefits, including anticancer activity. The human topoisomerases, enzymes that “detangle” DNA, are important targets for plant-derived anticancer drugs. To discover novel phytochemicals with anticancer activity, Kendra Vann, Neil Osheroff, Ph.D., and colleagues screened a library of 341 Mediterranean plant extracts for activity against […]

Damon Runyon cancer grant boosts Davila’s research

Thursday, July 23rd, 2015

Marco Davila, M.D., Ph.D., assistant professor of Medicine and of Cancer Biology, has received a grant from the Damon Runyon Cancer Research Foundation that will provide $450,000 over three years to help fund his research on therapies for several types of blood disorders, including various forms of leukemia and non-Hodgkin (also known as non-Hodgkin’s) lymphoma. Davila’s […]

Study reveals how protein helps cells tolerate DNA damage

Thursday, July 16th, 2015

Every day, cells in our bodies copy their DNA — about 6 billion “letters” worth — and divide. DNA replication is a fundamental process in biology, but it isn’t fully understood, said Brandt Eichman, Ph.D., associate professor of Biological Sciences and Biochemistry. And it doesn’t always proceed smoothly. DNA damage and other problems in the […]

VICC, Incyte collaborate to study cancer therapies

Thursday, July 9th, 2015

Vanderbilt-Ingram Cancer Center (VICC) has entered into a multi-year research support and collaboration agreement with Incyte Corporation. The agreement will support basic and translational research to enable novel therapeutic approaches for patients with cancer. See press release.  

Cancer signaling pathway blocker

Friday, April 10th, 2015

Researchers at Vanderbilt University have discovered a new way to inhibit Hedgehog (Hh) signaling, an important regulatory pathway for vertebrate development – and cancer. Abnormal regulation of this pathway leads to several human malignancies, including small cell lung cancer and pancreatic cancer, and therefore it is a potential drug target for cancer. Small molecules have […]

Micelle “packets” deliver cancer drugs

Friday, April 10th, 2015

Small interfering RNA (siRNA) molecules can suppress tumor growth and target cells otherwise untreatable by conventional therapeutics, but targeted, intracellular delivery is a significant limitation to siRNA translation. To deliver the siRNA molecules into tumor cells, researchers have packaged them in micelles that express folic acid, which is internalized by cancer cells that overexpress folate […]

‘Docking stations’ on chromosomes new anti-cancer target

Thursday, March 26th, 2015

Vanderbilt University researchers have discovered a cleft in a chromosome-binding protein that may hold the key to stopping most cancers in their tracks. The protein, WDR5, is a “docking station” for a family of transcription factors called MYC that is overexpressed in the majority of malignancies and which contributes to an estimated 100,000 cancer-related deaths […]

Moses, Shyr named to IOM cancer therapies panel

Monday, March 9th, 2015

Two Vanderbilt-Ingram Cancer Center (VICC) leaders have been named to a panel of the Institute of Medicine (IOM) to help shape national policies on the use of biomarkers for targeted cancer therapies. Harold L. (Hal) Moses, M.D., Ingram Professor of Cancer Research and director emeritus of VICC, will chair the IOM’s ad hoc committee, Policy […]

Grant bolsters pancreatic cancer drug discovery

Thursday, January 29th, 2015

The Lustgarten Foundation has awarded a $1.5 million Research Investigator Grant to Stephen Fesik, Ph.D., professor of Biochemistry, Pharmacology and Chemistry, for research designed to discover new drugs for the treatment of pancreatic cancer. This is Fesik’s second three-year award from the Lustgarten Foundation in support of his research targeting K-Ras, a protein mutated in […]

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