RAS-driven cancer

Protein mutations lead to human disease by altering a cancer-promoting pathway

Dec 7, 2018

Working in collaboration with a team of other scientists, CCR researchers identified the role that the LZTR1 protein plays in disrupting the RAS pathway. It interferes with signaling, largely by dysregulating ubiquitination, a process defined as the attachment of a small protein called ubiquitin to a protein that is degraded by an enzyme. Read more...

KSHV cells

Discovery shows new circular RNAs linked to Kaposi sarcoma herpesvirus

Nov 30, 2018

A new discovery shows a human circular RNA acts as an antiviral agent in response to infection from Kaposi sarcoma herpesvirus (KSHV), a finding strengthened by a parallel discovery of these unique RNAs in lymph nodes from patients infected with diseases related to KSHV.  Read more...

The process of translation

A novel mRNA modification may impact the human genetic code

Nov 15, 2018

Researchers have identified a novel modification in human messenger RNA (mRNA) that dramatically impacts gene expression. NAT10, an enzyme, was found to be responsible for the modification, which itself has been implicated in cancer and aging. This is one of the first examples of a unique chemical modification to mRNA (a key factor in deciphering the genetic code) that causes an increase in protein production. Read more...

Keratin skin tumors

Study provides evidence for theory on tumor evolution and its relationship to clinical outcomes

Nov 14, 2018

A team of researchers from NCI’s Cancer Data Science Lab and the NIH National Center for Biotechnology Information have provided evidence for a long-held theory about tumor evolution: The balance between mutation load and selection changes below and above a critical point. This finding marks the first time that evidence for this theory emerged from actual tumor samples. Read more...

near-infrared immunotherapy

Using near-infrared light to kill cancer cells in mice

Nov 9, 2018

A novel technique that uses near-infrared light to kill cancer cells is very efficient, but the reasons have remained a mystery. A new study reveals that infrared light changes the structure of an immunotherapy agent that can be embedded in the cancer cell’s membrane. This transformation causes the cell to rupture, leading to cell death. Read more...

gut bacteria

Anti-diabetes drug impact on gut bacteria may offer clues to treating some metabolic diseases

Nov 5, 2018

A research team in NCI’s Center for Cancer Research in collaboration with investigators at Peking University Health Science Center (PUHSC), Beijing, has found a pathway by which the anti-diabetes drug metformin could affect bacteria in the gut and how that pathway could be supplemented to benefit patients. Read more...

liver cancer

New therapies tested in mice provide a one-two punch for treating liver cancer

Nov 5, 2018

Biopharmaceutical agents that combine the precision of cancer-specific antibodies and the potency of drugs toxic to harmful cells are increasingly being used to treat cancer. A team in CCR has identified two such agents for liver cancer, which were both found to reduce tumor size and prolong survival in mice. Read more...

Staph infection

Study reveals function of protein crucial to survival of Staph infections

Oct 2, 2018

A team led by Kumaran Ramamurthi, Ph.D.,Senior Investigator in the Laboratory of Molecular Biology, has identified why the GpsB protein is essential for the survival of Staphylococcus aureus, a leading source of infection in cancer patients in hospital settings. These findings, published in eLife, point to GpsB as a possible antibiotic target. Read more...

leukemia

Moxetumomab pasudotox becomes first FDA-approved drug for resistant hairy cell leukemia

Sep 14, 2018

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved moxetumomab pasudotox for the treatment of some patients with hairy cell leukemia (HCL). A CCR researcher team led by Ira Pastan, M.D., Senior Investigator in the Laboratory of Molecular Biology (LMB), discovered the drug, which was later licensed to MedImmune/AstraZeneca for clinical development. Robert Kreitman, M.D., Senior Investigator in LMB, led the clinical trials that showed moxetumomab to be an effective option for patients with relapsed or refractory HCL. Read more...

Moxetumomab pasudotox becomes first FDA-approved drug for resistant hairy cell leukemia
Lung cancer metastasis

Bacteria could promote lung cancer progression and be biomarkers for the disease

Sep 7, 2018

A laboratory study comparing the microbiome of human lung cancer tissue with non-cancerous lung tissue found higher amounts of specific types of bacteria in lung cancer tissue from smokers, especially tissue comprised of squamous non-small cells with mutations that turn off the TP53 tumor-suppressor gene. This finding could point the way to using bacteria in the microbiome of smokers as biomarkers for early detection of the disease. Read more...

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