News: Drug Discovery

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Call Center Operations Restored

Tuesday, January 4th, 2011

Update as of Thursday, Jan. 6: Call Center staff have been relocated to temporary locations, with phones and computers, so our service has been restored. Thanks to everyone for their patience while we addressed this unexpected situation. Kudos to our team for their dedication to finding a way to get back on line for our […]

New Online Community for Survivors

Friday, December 31st, 2010

Editor’s note: Cynthia Floyd Manley, Vanderbilt-Ingram Cancer Center’s associate director for communications, will appear on Lifetime Television’s The Balancing Act on Monday, Jan. 3, to discuss social networking for cancer survivors and caregivers. Vanderbilt-Ingram Cancer Center has joined with the national CancerConnect.com initiative to launch a new online community for people impacted by cancer. As […]

Clinical Trials in Era of Targeted Therapies

Friday, December 17th, 2010

Cousins with melanoma caused by the same genetic mutation enroll in a randomized clinical trial of a promising experimental drug that targets the mutation. Randomly assigned to different groups, one young man gets the new drug, experiences dramatic shrinkage of his tumors and is alive nine months later, while his cousin receives current therapy — […]

Clue to Melanoma Drug Resistance

Friday, December 17th, 2010

Patients with metastatic melanoma being treated with the new investigational cancer drug PLX4032 are showing strong responses, with an 80 percent anti-tumor response rate among patients whose tumors are positive for the B-RAF (V600E) gene mutation. However, in all too many cases, patients are developing resistance to the drug and their cancer is beginning to […]

Throwing a Wrench in DNA Machinery

Thursday, December 9th, 2010

Proteins called HDACs are the targets of a new class of anti-cancer compounds (HDAC inhibitors). How these compounds kill tumor cells — and the potential side effects of such drugs — are still open questions. Scott Hiebert, Ph.D., and colleagues at Vanderbilt-Ingram Cancer Center have now discovered that mice missing a particular HDAC (pronounced h-dack) […]

DNA Mechanics

Wednesday, December 8th, 2010

Picture a railroad track, running across the countryside. DNA looks something like that track. Its “rails” are chains of chemicals called nucleotides, each pairing with a partner on the opposite chain to form the “ties.” To ensure timely train traffic – and prevent catastrophic derailments – the railroad track needs regular maintenance. So does DNA. […]

New Path for Colon Cancer Drug Discovery

Friday, November 19th, 2010

An old pinworm medicine is a new lead in the search for compounds that block a signaling pathway implicated in colon cancer. The findings, reported by Vanderbilt University Medical Center researchers in the November issue of Nature Chemical Biology, suggest a fresh approach for developing therapeutics that target the pathway. More than 90 percent of […]

VUMC Joins Blood-Brain Barrier Group

Friday, November 12th, 2010

Vanderbilt University Medical Center has joined the International Blood-Brain Barrier Consortium, a group that is combining research and comprehensive patient care to develop protocols and guidelines for opening the blood-brain barrier. The blood-brain barrier is a system of tight junctions in the circulatory system around the brain that protects the central nervous system from unsafe […]

Grants to Fund Research on Early Detection

Thursday, November 4th, 2010

The National Cancer Institute has awarded two Early Detection Research Network (EDRN) grants to a group of Vanderbilt-Ingram Cancer Center investigators to support early detection of lung and colon cancers. Pierre Massion, M.D., associate professor of Medicine and Cancer Biology, has been awarded $3 million over five years for the creation of the Vanderbilt Clinical […]

Tricky Tumors’ Blood Supply Targeted

Friday, October 15th, 2010

Lung cancer and the brain cancer glioblastoma multiforme are aggressive and notoriously difficult tumors to treat. If the tumors cannot be surgically removed, patients with these tumors typically survive only about one year after diagnosis. Both tumor types are resistant to radiation and are highly angiogenic (have rapidly growing blood vessels). Therefore, anti-angiogenesis therapies may […]