CCR News: Our Discoveries

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...

Treated HIV-1

Second-generation maturation inhibitors show promise for HIV treatment

Jan 22, 2019

CCR researchers have improved upon bevirimat, a first-generation maturation inhibitor developed to treat HIV-1, the primary cause of AIDS. After pinpointing HIV-1 strains not effectively blocked by bevirimat during clinical trials, researchers developed second-generation inhibitors based on knowledge about the sequences of those resistant strains. The new inhibitors turned out to be more potent and active than bevirimat. Read more...

TFF1 gene

Sophisticated technology reveals gene expression in real time

Dec 13, 2018

CCR researchers made use of CRISPR-Cas9 and other technology to reveal gene expression in real time, demonstrating that RNA synthesis is highly variable due to long intervals between RNA production. The research supports the emerging awareness about the dynamic nature of gene expression and the tremendous variability among genes. Read more...


Researchers create record-sized, integrated cellular cancer database

Dec 12, 2018

Investigators in CCR have consolidated and expanded some of the world’s largest cancer databases to create an integrated, comprehensive cellular databank. The publicly available tool, called CellMinerCDB, can be used to explore in unprecedented detail the relationship between drugs, mutations, copy number, methylation and gene and protein expression. Read more...

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...