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Pow! Unleashing immunotherapies & protecting patients

Wednesday, May 31st, 2017

The television ad opens on a city skyline at sunrise, with people looking up curiously at the buildings. “It’s not every day something this big comes along,” says the narrator, as words appear projected on the side of a building. “A chance to live longer,” the words spell out in big, bright capital letters. The […]

A Helping Hand

Tuesday, December 27th, 2016

Imagine trying to navigate an unfamiliar Medical Center with appointments sprinkled across numerous buildings, often on different days of the week. Now add a cancer diagnosis, and the emotions that come with that, and traversing unfamiliar surroundings becomes infinitely more difficult. Your life has just been turned upside down and there’s much to do. There […]

Aiming High

Thursday, June 2nd, 2016

A biochemist pointed to a structure of a protein, one suspected of a link to pancreatic cancer, caught in the act of DNA replication. The molecular images produced at the Vanderbilt Mass Spectrometry Research Center allow scientists to see proteins at precise moments and in complex associations with each other. Some of those proteins have never […]

Heart Matters

Tuesday, February 9th, 2016

In January 2011, Harriet Wilson of Hartsville, Tennessee, began to experience pain in her left side, under her rib cage. Her primary care physician ran some tests, ruling out heart problems and shingles. However, blood work revealed something ominous: elevated liver enzymes. A CT scan helped diagnose the source of her pain: two advanced pancreatic […]

Cancer Killers

Monday, September 14th, 2015

T cells. Killer T cells. They’re on the prowl inside you right now, these “hit men” of the immune system. Their surfaces are armed with receptors that have the dossiers of their “marks”—virus-infected cells, cancer cells or other damaged cells. When they recognize a target, they have the power to kill. But they aren’t always effective. “It’s […]

Mining the microbiome

Saturday, December 20th, 2014

Ten-to-one. Cell for cell, they’ve got us outnumbered. And as a group, they have 100 times more genes than we do. Fortunately, these microbes that share our corporeal space are usually on our side. Known collectively as the microbiome, the microbial species that flourish along our mucosal surfaces—the linings of our intestines, mouth and nose, […]

Smart Choices

Thursday, December 18th, 2014

The barrage of cancer prevention messages is a near constant in our Facebook feeds and on news broadcasts. Eliminate sugar from your diet. Eat more blueberries. Don’t grill your meat. Use only organic household cleaners. Filter your tap water. Stop using deodorant with aluminum. Get more sun exposure because vitamin D is good. Get less […]

Genetic Explorers

Wednesday, May 21st, 2014

The Cancer Genome Atlas is mining a treasure trove of genetic data in search of new cancer insights.

Opening Pandora’s Box

Monday, July 2nd, 2012

It’s been two years since Joan Meredith’s stem cell transplant for acute myeloid leukemia (AML). Although she is now “100 percent donor” and her new immune system appears to be functioning well, she remains vigilant against the health complications related to her transplant – like infections, for example. “I hated wearing the mask because I […]

Weighing the Odds

Friday, June 1st, 2012

Timothy Zeien had quite a list of concerns surrounding his weight – but cancer was not among them. At 230 pounds, the 64-year-old had type 2 diabetes and was taking cholesterol- and blood pressure-lowering medications. In February 2011, Zeien made a major decision: to undergo a bariatric procedure called gastric sleeving. He says doctors had […]

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