segregation of chromosomes

Foundation laid for understanding essentials of cell division

Dec 21, 2017

NCI Center for Cancer Research (CCR) scientists reported new molecular insights into understanding a critical aspect of cell division through a cross-disciplinary effort that combines cryo-electron microscopy (cryo-EM), biochemical and cell biological approaches. Errors in segregation of chromosomes during mitosis can lead to an aberrant number of chromosomes, a condition known as aneuploidy, which can lead to cancer and birth defects. Read more…

Leukemia cells

New immunotherapy approach leads to remission in patients with the most common type of childhood cancer

Nov 30, 2017

Chimeric antigen receptor (CAR) T-cell immunotherapy has emerged as a promising treatment for pre-B cell acute lymphoblastic leukemia (B-ALL), the most common type of childhood cancer. B-ALL is characterized by an overproduction of immature white blood cells called lymphoblasts. In a trial led by Center for Cancer Research investigators, around 70 to 90 percent of patients whose B-ALL has relapsed or developed resistance to chemotherapy entered remission after CAR T-cell therapy targeting CD19. Read more…

CAR T cells

Overactivating CAR T cells interferes with their ability to fight cancer in mice

Nov 27, 2017

CAR T-cell therapy, in which a patient’s T cells are reprogrammed in the lab to boost their ability to recognize and destroy cancer cells when they are returned to the body, has led to dramatic responses for many patients with certain blood cancers. Not all patients respond to the treatment, however, and many who do eventually relapse. Read more…


Preclinical study shows drug has extreme potency against multidrug-resistant HIV variants

Nov 15, 2017

CCR investigators and colleagues have developed an anti-HIV drug, GRL-142, which at low concentrations block the replication of various wild-type and multidrug-resistant HIV strains. The drug also reaches high concentrations in a rat’s brain, suggesting it may prevent HIV-associated neurocognitive disorders. Read more…

Inflammatory cells in mouse brain

Serendipitous discovery in mice links inflammation directly to stroke

Nov 8, 2017

In 30 percent to 40 percent of stroke cases, doctors can’t identify the biological cause. Certain risk factors for stroke, such as smoking and diabetes, cause inflammation. Scientists have long suspected that chronic inflammation can in turn trigger a stroke, but they have not made a direct link. Now, CCR researchers have reported that experiments with mice suggest inflammation alone can lead to stroke. Read more…

Researchers discover promising new targets for treatment of fatty liver disease

Oct 19, 2017

Researchers have identified potential new drug targets for the prevention and treatment of non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD). The new study, which was a collaborative effort between scientists in the Laboratory of Metabolism at CCR and Peking University, was published October 9, 2017, in Nature Medicine. Read more…

Watching the action unfold: New cryo-EM images capture CRISPR’s interaction with target DNA

Oct 5, 2017

Using the Nobel-prize winning technique of cryo-EM, researchers led by CCR Senior Investigator Sriram Subramaniam, Ph.D., have captured a series of highly detailed images of a protein complex belonging to the CRISPR system that can be used by bacteria to recognize and destroy foreign DNA. The images reveal the molecule’s form before and after its interaction with DNA and help illuminate both how the complex functions and how it can be blocked. Read more... 

immune cells attacking cancer cells

CAR T-Cell therapy can lead to long-lasting remissions in patients with lymphoma

Aug 17, 2017

More than three years after treatment, some clinical trial participants who received CAR T-cell therapy for diffuse large B-cell lymphoma remain in remission. These results are reported in a paper in Molecular Therapy by James Kochenderfer, M.D., of CCR's Experimental Transplantation and Immunology Branch. “This raises the possibility that CAR T cells can be curative for diffuse large B cell lymphoma,” Kochenderfer says.

CCR scientists gain new understanding of cellular mechanisms during infection

Aug 14, 2017

A new study published August 10, 2017, in Molecular Cell reveals how changes in the architecture of the nucleus can enable B lymphocytes to spring to action during an immune system attack and help fight infection. The discovery could lead scientists to a better understanding of how some tumor cells, especially blood cancer cells, make similar transitions from a dormant to an active state. Read more. . .

Keeping genome organized creates opportunities for damage

Aug 7, 2017

Packing an entire genome inside the cramped quarters of a cell nucleus can put chromosomes at risk for damage, according to new research led by André Nussenzweig, Ph.D., Chief of CCR’s Laboratory of Genomic Integrity. The findings, reported July 20, 2017, in Cell, suggest that DNA breaks are routinely introduced and then repaired as a cell folds and organizes its genome, and that when repair processes fail, these breaks can give rise to chromosomal abnormalities characteristic of cancer cells.