CCR News: Our Discoveries

metastatic melanoma cells

Drug found effective in mice for uveal melanoma

Mar 6, 2019

Drugs that directly target the transcription factor YAP, which is associated with the growth of uveal melanoma, are too toxic to be used in patients. A new study in mice, however, finds a new, safe and effective way for targeting the YAP pathway. Read more...


Deep-imaging study reveals extensive variability in 3D configuration of genomes between cells

Feb 21, 2019

A new study analyzing chromatin in single cells using advanced imaging methods, led by CCR Director Tom Misteli, Ph.D., has revealed more heterogeneity in the 3D configuration of genomes than previously thought. Read more...

Nanoparticles in brain metastases

New strategy for treating brain tumors with mutations in metabolic enzymes

Feb 20, 2019

Cancers with mutations in key metabolic enzymes disrupt oxygen metabolism and cause a buildup of reactive oxygen species in mice. This mutation is found in about 80 percent of grade II/III gliomas, or brain tumors, in humans. By inhibiting the action of a protein that allows cancer cells to survive, investigators have potentially found a new strategy for treating cancers with these mutations. Read more...

A scanning electron micrograph of a T lymphocyte

Researchers identify a key molecule that enhances T cell-based immunotherapy

Feb 19, 2019

The transcription factor c-Myb plays a critical role in regulating T cell stemness. Researchers showed that increasing expression of this transcription factor in T cells launches a powerful, long-lasting antitumor response in mice.  Read more...

HPV cell

Drug successfully treats WHIM syndrome

Feb 12, 2019

Researchers have discovered which genus of human papillomavirus (HPV) is responsible for warts found in patients with WHIM syndrome, a rare autoimmune disease, and determined the drug plerixafor could successfully treat those patients. Read more...

Epstein-Barr virus

Gene mutations in Burkitt lymphoma hint at more effective treatment

Feb 7, 2019

Some cases of Burkitt lymphoma have long been thought to be caused by the Epstein-Barr virus. New research is revealing potential genetic mechanisms for how the virus could contribute to the disease. Read more...

How the oncometabolite fumarate contributes to one type of hereditary kidney cancer

New map of protein interactions hints at the underlying mechanisms of hereditary kidney cancer

Feb 6, 2019

A hereditary form of kidney cancer is characterized by high levels of the metabolite fumarate but how the compound fuels cancer remains a mystery. CCR researchers have mapped the proteins that fumarate interacts with, revealing new links between metabolism and malignancy. Read more...

HCT116 (KRAS-mutant) colorectal cancer cell spheroid.

New insights into mechanisms key to maintaining KRAS-mutant cancer cell survival

Feb 6, 2019

CCR researchers tested nearly 500 different combinations of multi-gene targeting strategies to study the mechanisms that favor the survival of KRAS-mutant colorectal and pancreatic cancer cells over normal cells. This study reveals the previously underappreciated complexity of the signaling network of the KRAS oncogene. Although work remains to be done, the research does suggest potential target combinations for more effective therapeutic interventions. Read more...


Two new compounds target a cancer-promoting RNA transcript

Jan 29, 2019

MALAT1 is a noncoding RNA associated with aggressive lung cancer and poor survival for patients with various tumor types. The identification of two new molecules that disable this RNA hints at new therapeutic avenues. Read more...

T cells

Clinical trial finds combination therapy effective for some biliary cancer patients

Jan 28, 2019

Completion of a phase I/II clinical trial found that two of 20 patients with biliary tract cancer disease experienced a partial response to treatment with the immune checkpoint inhibitor tremelimumab combined with microwave ablation therapy. Further studies are needed to understand why just a few patients responded well to this combination treatment. Read more...