Features

Inhibiting the Epidermal Growth Factor Receptor

The Epidermal Growth Factor Receptor (EGFR) is a widely distributed cell surface receptor that responds to several extracellular signaling molecules through an intracellular tyrosine kinase, which phosphorylates target enzymes to trigger a downstream molecular cascade. Since the discovery that EGFR mutations and amplifications are critical in a number of cancers, efforts have been under way to develop and use targeted EGFR inhibitors. These efforts have met with some spectacular successes, but many patients have not responded as expected, have subsequently developed drug-resistant tumors, or have suffered serious side effects from the therapies to date. CCR Investigators are studying EGFR from multiple vantage points with the goal of developing even better strategies to defeat EGFR-related cancers. Read more...

Notable Expressions: Transcriptional Regulation from Biochemistry to Immunology

Dinah Singer, Ph.D., came to NCI in 1975 as a Postdoctoral Fellow in the Laboratory of Biochemistry, but soon created a career for herself in the Experimental Immunology Branch. Her interest in how genes are regulated to control biological function led her to focus on major histocompatibility complex class I genes (MHC Class I)—molecules critical to immune system function—as a model system for complex regulation of ubiquitously expressed genes across cell types and molecular contexts. Using this system to study the sequence elements and factors that control transcription, her laboratory continues to uncover fundamental principles of gene regulation. In addition to her active research career, Singer has served since 1999 as Director of NCI’s Division of Cancer Biology, which manages a portfolio of over 2,200 grants to extramural investigators. Read more...

The Secret Lives of Neurotrophin Receptors

Neurotrophins are a family of growth factors that are critical to the proper development and functioning of the nervous system. Neurotrophins activate a family of tyrosine receptor kinases (Trk), which typically initiate signaling cascades through phosphorylation. This axis is important for central nervous system (CNS) drug development efforts, ranging from pain management to neurodegeneration. However, neurotrophin-activated pathways are important for a variety of cancers and their metastatic properties. Indeed, TrkA, the prototype of the neurotrophin receptor family, was first identified at NCI as part of a fusion oncogene. Moreover, Trks are widely expressed in many different organs where their misactivation has been associated with tumor formation. Trks are also present as truncated receptor isoforms, lacking kinase activity, and these forms are particularly prominent in adult tissues. Little is known about the role of neurotrophins and Trk receptors outside the nervous system. Lino Tessarollo, Ph.D., Director of CCR’s Mouse Cancer Genetics Program, uses his expertise in developing genetically modified mouse models to dissect the functions of these receptors, with the goal of developing insights that will guide the successful targeting of therapeutic interventions. Read more...

In The Clinic

Adoptive Cell Therapies: One Cancer at a Time

After completing medical school and a general surgery residency at the University of Missouri, Kansas City, Christian Hinrichs, M.D., planned on doing cancer research at the start of his fellowship at Roswell Park Cancer Institute in 1996. However, a detour sent him into surgical oncology, and Hinrichs only returned to his research interests through a subsequent surgical oncology fellowship at NCI. Read more...

Going Home to Kansas

In June 2011, at the age of 34 and despite regular screenings, Aricca Wallace was diagnosed with stage 3 cervical cancer. Raising two small children with her husband, and otherwise healthy, she was ready to fight. “I was young and was able to handle the aggressive chemotherapy and radiation. I thought everything would be fine,” said Wallace. Read more...

Editorial

Cancer Research—The CCR Way!

More than 15 years ago, I joined the NCI Center for Cancer Research (CCR) as an eager and idealistic junior investigator. Read more...

Commentary

A Broader View of Immunotherapies

Fresh out of graduate school at Wayne State University in Michigan in 1985, Bernard Fox, Ph.D., landed a coveted fellowship with Steven Rosenberg, M.D., just as the first patients were being treated with cell-based immunotherapies at NCI. Read more...

News

The Effect of Memory

Adoptive cell transfer for cancer therapy may be hindered by memory T cells. Read more...

Limiting Inflammation

CCR collaboration suggests new strategy for reducing tumor-promoting cytokines in pancreatic cancer. Read more...

Defusing a Fusion Gene

Genome-wide RNAi screening discovers splicing is a vulnerability in Ewing sarcoma. Read more...

Precision Pediatric Oncology

A new study paves the way for precision therapy trials at NCI. Read more...

Good Neighbors

CCR and Walter Reed National Military Medical Center commit to sharing strengths. Read more...

Staff News at CCR

Staff announcements at CCR. Read more...

Recent CCR Awards

View the most recent CCR Awards. Read more...

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