A new tool to observe cell behavior has revealed surprising clues about how cancer cells respond to therapy – and may offer a way to further refine personalized cancer treatments. The approach, developed by investigators at Vanderbilt-Ingram Cancer Center, shows that erlotinib – a targeted therapy that acts on a growth factor receptor mutated in [...]
News: brain cancer
Glioma is the most common and lethal type of brain tumor, and now investigators from Vanderbilt-Ingram Cancer Center and three other cancer centers have identified a link between a rare genetic variant and the risk of developing glioma. The variant also appears to improve the odds of survival among glioma patients. Reid Thompson, M.D., William [...]
MicroRNAs (miRNAs) play key roles in cellular development, differentiation and cancer growth by regulating gene expression. They may be clinically useful as biomarkers and as targets for new drugs to treat such cancers as glioblastoma multiforme, the most common and lethal primary brain tumor in humans. But first scientists must understand better how the actions [...]
Identifying the cellular origins of medulloblastoma – the most common malignant brain tumor in children – may help focus treatment on cell types responsible for tumor initiation. Previous research has linked Sonic hedgehog signaling in neuronal cell precursors within the developing cerebellum to medulloblastoma. Now, Chin Chiang, Ph.D., and colleagues demonstrate that “turning on” Sonic [...]
Cranial irradiation to treat brain cancers often has long-term negative neurocognitive effects, including lowered IQ, learning difficulties and memory loss, especially in the pediatric population. Fen Xia, M.D., Ph.D., and colleagues have reported that these effects may be due to radiation-induced damage to the hippocampus, the brain region responsible for learning and memory. They previously [...]
Back in April, one of Vanderbilt-Ingram Cancer Center’s faculty members, Dr. Reid Thompson, was a featured presenter at TEDx Nashville. The event included artists, actors, musicians, a rocket scientist, a dancer, and others, all speaking on the topic “A Sense of Wonder.” Here’s is Dr. Thompson’s TEDx Talk, in which he describes the wonder that [...]
“It is advisable to look from the tide pool to the stars and then back to the tide pool again.” – John Steinbeck In late January of 2006, I was looking neither at tide pools, nor at stars. I was staring intently – just as I am now, as I’m writing this – into a [...]
The Vanderbilt-Ingram Cancer Center has recently opened a new suite for “stereotactic radiosurgery,” which uses the latest generation in radiation therapy technology.
Drs. Fen Xia and Anthony Cmelak observe as a patient is positioned for stereotactic radiosurgery for her tumor. This system, called Novalis TX, offers precision to the millimeter — about the width of a fingernail.