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Grant Renewal Boosts GI Cancer Research Program

Friday, September 21st, 2012

Vanderbilt-Ingram Cancer Center’s gastrointestinal Specialized Program of Research Excellence (SPORE) has been awarded its third round of funding by the National Cancer Institute (NCI). “We decided to roll the dice and propose high-risk, high-reward projects,” said Robert Coffey Jr., M.D., Ingram Professor of Cancer Research, professor of Medicine and Cell and Developmental Biology, and director […]

Network Approach Yields Glioblastoma Clues

Friday, August 10th, 2012

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 […]

Study Tracks How Gene May Promote Lung Cancer Tumors

Friday, August 10th, 2012

Vanderbilt-Ingram Cancer Center researchers have identified how one of the genes most commonly mutated in lung cancer may promote such tumors. The investigators found that the protein encoded by this gene, called EPHA3, normally inhibits tumor formation, and that loss or mutation of the gene — as often happens in lung cancer — diminishes this […]

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 […]

Uncommon BRAF Melanoma Mutation

Wednesday, July 18th, 2012

An uncommon mutation of the BRAF gene in melanoma patients has been found to respond to MEK inhibitor drugs, providing a rationale for routine screening and therapy in melanoma patients who harbor the BRAF L597 mutation. The new study by co-first-authors Kimberly Brown Dahlman, Ph.D., Junfeng Xia, Ph.D., and Katherine Hutchinson, B.S., Vanderbilt-Ingram Cancer Center […]

Vanderbilt Mourns Loss of Frances Williams Preston

Friday, June 15th, 2012

Frances Williams Preston, one of the most successful female music executives in the history of the entertainment industry, and a member of the Vanderbilt-Ingram Cancer Center Board of Overseers, died from congestive heart failure at her home in Nashville, surrounded by her family, Wednesday, June 13. She was 83. Mrs. Preston spent most of her […]

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 […]

Roots of Childhood Brain Tumors

Wednesday, June 13th, 2012

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 […]

New Breast Cancer Gene Expression Identified

Monday, June 11th, 2012

A study led by Vanderbilt-Ingram Cancer Center investigators has identified a gene expression pattern that may explain why chemotherapy prior to surgery isn’t effective against some tumors and suggests new therapy options for patients with specific subtypes of breast cancer. The study by lead author Justin Balko, Pharm.D., Ph.D., was published online June 10, 2012 […]