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    Current cancer drug discovery method flawed: VUMC study

    Friday, May 6th, 2016

    The primary method used to test compounds for anti-cancer activity in cells is flawed, Vanderbilt University researchers reported May 2 in Nature Methods. The findings cast doubt on methods used by the entire scientific enterprise and pharmaceutical industry to discover new cancer drugs. “More than 90 percent of candidate cancer drugs fail in late-stage clinical […]

    An Argonaute’s voyage to cancer

    Friday, April 29th, 2016

    Mutations in the KRAS gene, which codes for a protein involved in normal cell signaling, promote the development of colorectal and other cancers. One mechanism by which activated KRAS may influence the phenotype of neighboring cells is by regulating the packaging of tiny RNAs called microRNAs (miRNAs) in small, bubble-like vesicles called exosomes. When delivered […]

    Pietenpol named to NCI Blue Ribbon Panel

    Wednesday, April 13th, 2016

    Jennifer Pietenpol, Ph.D., B.F. Byrd Jr. Professor of Oncology and director of Vanderbilt-Ingram Cancer Center (VICC), has been selected to serve on a Blue Ribbon Panel that will inform the scientific direction and goals at the National Cancer Institute (NCI) for Vice President Joe Biden’s National Cancer Moonshot Initiative. The announcement was made by the […]

    Cancer prevention and poverty

    Friday, April 1st, 2016

    Interested in how cancer prevention recommendations play out in low-income populations, epidemiologist Shaneda Warren Anderson, Ph.D., and colleagues analyzed data from 61,098 adults, with overrepresentation of low-income whites and African-Americans. The team measured adherence to American Cancer Society (ACS) recommendations regarding body mass index, physical activity, diet, alcohol intake and smoking status, and they gathered […]

    New role identified for p73 gene

    Friday, April 1st, 2016

    The p53 gene is a tumor suppressor whose absence or silence contributes to cancer formation. Vanderbilt-Ingram Cancer Center investigators recently defined the role of a family member – p73. Using a p73-deficient mouse model developed in the laboratory of Jennifer Pietenpol, Ph.D., investigators led by Clayton Marshall found that p73 regulates at least 100 genes […]

    ROCKs and cancer invasion

    Thursday, March 17th, 2016

    Cancers become fatal mostly because of their ability to spread. Cancerous cells migrate from primary tumors and invade neighboring tissues through protrusions called invadopodia. The rigidity of the cancerous mass, the tumor-associated extracellular matrix (ECM), drives malignant behavior through the Rho/ROCK signaling pathway. In particular, the ROCK protein is mutated and overexpressed in many cancers, […]

    A clue to cell cleavage

    Thursday, March 10th, 2016

    The final step of cell division is termed cytokinesis, a process that separates one cell into two. Cytokinesis is linked to events underlying cancer and the development of diverse cell types in the human body. The cytoskeleton, networks of filamentous proteins, is key for cytokinesis. Microtubules form a barrel-shaped array called the spindle midzone, which […]

    Melanoma response to immune therapy

    Friday, March 4th, 2016

    Anti-PD-1 therapy – a treatment that stimulates the immune system to attack tumors – produces responses in up to 40 percent of melanoma patients. Predictive markers of response are needed to optimize patient selection, improve treatment decision-making and minimize costs. Justin Balko, Pharm.D., Ph.D., Douglas Johnson, M.D., and colleagues hypothesized that tumor expression of MHC-I […]

    Chemo better option following pancreatic cancer surgery: study

    Thursday, February 25th, 2016

    A multicenter study led by Vanderbilt University Medical Center (VUMC) investigators found that pancreatic cancer patients who underwent surgery and received chemotherapy lived longer and had fewer cancer recurrences in other parts of the body than patients who also received chemoradiation therapy. The study led by Alexander Parikh, M.D., MPH, associate professor of Surgery and […]

    Study explores less invasive way to monitor colorectal cancer

    Monday, February 22nd, 2016

    Investigators at Vanderbilt University Medical Center have published research regarding an important feature of colorectal cancer (CRC) that could eventually lead to the development of non-invasive means of monitoring cancer progression. After lung cancer, CRC is the second-most lethal cancer in the United States. The team’s research, published in eLIFE, indicates that colorectal cancer cells […]

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