CCR News: Our Discoveries

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...


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...

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...

T cell

Essential gene network suggests potential therapy for adult T-cell leukemia/lymphoma

Aug 20, 2018

A new study by Louis Staudt, M.D., Ph.D., has uncovered the critical importance of a complex of proteins, called BATF3 and IRF4, in regulating a pro-growth and survival network in adult T-cell leukemia/lymphoma (ATLL). The results demonstrate that this network can be targeted with a class of drugs known as bromodomain-and-extra-terminal-domain (BET) inhibitors, suggesting a novel potential therapy for ATLL. Read more...

gene therapy

CCR-led research team develops predictor for immunotherapy response in melanoma

Aug 20, 2018

Researchers have developed a predictor for immunotherapy response in melanoma. The study, authored by scientists from CCR’s new Cancer Data Science Laboratory and their extramural colleagues was published on August 20, 2018, in Nature Medicine, describes a gene expression predictor that can indicate whether melanoma in a specific patient is likely to respond to treatment with a type of immunotherapy known as immune checkpoint inhibitors. Read more...

Stem cell

New findings in Cell Stem Cell focus on Id1 and its effects on hematopoietic stem cells (HSCs)

Aug 16, 2018

Jonathan R. Keller, Ph.D., Senior Investigator in the Mouse Cancer Genetics Program, and others recently published findings in Cell Stem Cell focused on Id1, an inhibitor of DNA binding, and its effects on hematopoietic stem cells (HSCs), which are cells that form blood cellular components. These findings may have application for treatments such as bone marrow transplantation.  Read more...

lymphoma cells

DNA-damaging drugs show promise in helping treat dogs with lymphoma

Aug 6, 2018

DNA-damaging drugs called TOP1 inhibitors are widely used to treat various cancers, but they have limitations. A clinical trial in dogs with lymphoma suggests that three alternative drug candidates with a similar mechanism may be effective. Read more...