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Target Acquired for Aggressive Tumor

Friday, September 28th, 2012

Angiosarcoma, a rare, aggressive tumor that arises from cells that line blood vessels, has a mortality rate of around 80 percent. Because of their constant contact with the blood stream, these tumors can spread quickly and freely throughout the body. The INK4a/ARF locus on chromosome 9 – a region that encodes tumor suppressor proteins – […]

HER2 May Impact Lung Cancer Therapy

Friday, September 21st, 2012

Overcoming therapeutic resistance that inevitably develops is one of the major challenges in treating lung cancer. Non-small cell lung cancers that harbor mutations in the epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) are initially responsive to targeted therapies known as EGFR tyrosine kinase inhibitors (TKIs). However, most patients eventually develop resistance to these therapies. One such targeted […]

Study Reveals Racial Disparities in Prostate Cancer Care

Thursday, August 23rd, 2012

A study led by investigators from Vanderbilt-Ingram Cancer Center (VICC), Nashville, Tenn., finds that black men with prostate cancer receive lower quality surgical care than white men. The racial differences persist even when controlling for factors such as the year of surgery, age, comorbidities and insurance status. Daniel Barocas, M.D., MPH, assistant professor of Urologic […]

New Method May Allow Personalized Clinical Trial for Cancer Therapies

Tuesday, August 14th, 2012

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 […]

Ancestry Impacts Smoking Risk for Lungs

Wednesday, August 8th, 2012

Smoking tobacco reduces lung function. African Americans have lower lung function compared to European Americans, but it is unclear if African ancestry modifies smoking’s impact on lung function. Melinda Aldrich, Ph.D., MPH, assistant professor of Thoracic Surgery, and colleagues evaluated lung function, tobacco smoking exposure and genetic ancestry in a large population of African Americans who […]

On the Hunt for Bladder Cancer Factors

Thursday, July 26th, 2012

Nearly 15,000 people in the United States die each year from metastatic bladder cancer. Signaling pathways that cause bladder tumor recurrence and spread are not clear. David DeGraff, Ph.D., a post-doctoral fellow in Urologic Surgery, and a multi-disciplinary team of colleagues including basic scientists, clinical pathologists and urologic surgeons, examined the role of the transcription […]

Proteins Guard Against Cancer Spread

Thursday, July 26th, 2012

Prostate cancer cells metastasize mainly to bone, yet bone metastases are resistant to common therapies and are often fatal. A key receptor for the growth factor TGF-β (TβRII) is lost in the connective tissue (stroma) of most prostate cancers, but the effects of this loss on metastasis and bone lesion development are undefined. Recently in […]

Study Finds Stress Fuels Breast Cancer Metastasis to Bone

Wednesday, July 18th, 2012

Stress can promote breast cancer cell colonization of bone, Vanderbilt Center for Bone Biology investigators have discovered. The studies, reported July 17 in PLoS Biology, demonstrate in mice that activation of the sympathetic nervous system – the “fight-or-flight” response to stress – primes the bone environment for breast cancer cell metastasis. The researchers were able […]

New Cancer Drug Shows Promise

Thursday, July 12th, 2012

An experimental drug that activates T-cells and promotes an immune response to fight tumors has shown promising early results in patients with kidney cancer, melanoma and non-small cell lung cancer. Vanderbilt-Ingram Cancer Center investigators Leora Horn, M.D., Jeffrey Sosman, M.D., and researchers from several other cancer centers tested the new compound. The results of the […]

Gene Database to Aid Disease Research

Wednesday, June 13th, 2012

Next generation sequencing (NGS) has dramatically accelerated the discovery of disease-associated genetic variants. Also known as massively parallel sequencing, this technological tour de force can rapidly “read” a sequence of DNA bases (the “letters” in our genomes) in parallel, making genome sequencing feasible in the research lab. Vanderbilt researchers have developed a “catalog” of human […]