Cellular immunotherapy targets a common human cancer mutation

Dec 8, 2016

A team of researchers led by Steven Rosenberg, M.D., Ph.D., Chief of the Surgery Branch, studied the use of immunotherapy for colorectal cancer. The team identified a method to target the cancer-causing protein produced by a mutant form of the KRAS gene. The patients who participated in the study experienced tumor regression after receiving this targeted immunotherapy approach. The New England Journal of Medicine published the study results on Dec. 8, 2016. Read more...

Cellular immunotherapy targets a common human cancer mutation

Structural biologists capture detailed image of gene regulator’s fleeting form

Nov 14, 2016

Using an ultrafast, high-intensity radiation source called an X-ray free-electron laser (XFEL), scientists have captured an atomic-level picture of an RNA structure called a riboswitch as it reorganizes itself to regulate protein production. The structure they visualized has never before been seen, and likely exists for only milliseconds after the riboswitch first encounters its activating molecule.  Read more...


Team identifies potential marker of resistance to PARP inhibitor drugs

Nov 1, 2016

Yves Pommier, Chief of the Developmental Therapeutics Branch, and colleagues identified a possible biomarker that could help predict whether a tumor will respond to certain types of a relatively new class of targeted anticancer drugs known as PARP inhibitors. Read more...

Team identifies potential marker of resistance to PARP inhibitor drugs

New insights into the dual role of TGF-beta

Oct 13, 2016

The dual role of TGF-beta in cancer continues to challenge investigators in the field. TGF-beta is a well-known factor associated with tumor suppression in normal cells and yet promotes tumor progression in advanced stages of cancer. For years, the mechanisms that underpin this conundrum have not been fully understood. Ying Zhang, Ph.D., senior investigator in the Laboratory of Cellular and Molecular Biology, has been exploring this problem by examining and characterizing several key molecules in the TGF-beta signaling pathway. Read more…

Jung-Min Lee discusses ovarian cancer study results with The ASCO Post

Oct 11, 2016

Women’s Malignancies Branch Investigator Jung-Min Lee discussed the findings of a phase II study of the cell cycle checkpoint kinase inhibitor prexasertib in patients with recurring ovarian cancer with The ASCO Post at the 2016 European Society for Medical Oncology Conference. She is enthusiastic to see how their findings could be an alternative to conventional chemotherapy in patients with recurring sporadic high-grade serous and germline BRCA mutation-associated ovarian cancer.  Learn more...

Jung-Min Lee discusses ovarian cancer study results with The ASCO Post

Liver disease stage determines whether the immune response stifles or stimulates tumor growth

Oct 11, 2016

Researchers at the Center for Cancer Research and colleagues from three cancer research centers in Germany have discovered a mechanism whereby precancerous liver cells, found in individuals with chronic liver disease, can prevent neighboring cells from becoming cancerous but can also speed the growth of cells that have already become cancerous.  Learn more...

Cracking the finger code: an interview with CCR’s Susan Mackem

Oct 7, 2016

The creation of the digits in our hand—the thumb, index-middle-ring fingers and pinky—begins early in development, but little is known about the exact programming that occurs to produce the different digit types. Investigators in the Cancer and Developmental Biology Laboratory, (CDBL), provide the first genetic evidence of how the tuning of signals sets digit identity by studying the effects of dysregulation (abnormal regulation) in several mutations. Read more…

Experimental drug STA-8666 causes complete tumor regression in animal models of pediatric sarcomas

Oct 5, 2016

New studies from scientists in the NCI Center for Cancer Research’s (CCR) Pediatric Oncology Branch suggest that an experimental drug called STA-8666 could be an effective treatment for the childhood cancers Ewing sarcoma and rhabdomyosarcoma. In mouse models of these diseases, STA-8666 eliminated tumors and prolonged survival beyond that of animals treated with a related drug, irinotecan. Read more…

Possible new treatment for Kaposi sarcoma

Oct 3, 2016

A collaborative effort by researchers at the National Cancer Institute (NCI) and Celgene Corporation, a global biopharmaceutical company, has yielded a possible new treatment for Kaposi sarcoma (KS), a cancer caused by a human gammaherpesvirus. The drug, called pomalidomide, is highly effective against KS and has fewer side effects compared with chemotherapy, suggesting that it may be a useful alternative to traditional therapies. Read more...

Genome organization factor determines the few cells that make a tumor grow

Sep 29, 2016

In the September 30, 2016, issue of the journal Science, scientists led by former CCR postdoctoral fellow Paola Scaffidi report that an essential DNA-packing protein called linker histone H1.0 is present in varying levels in the cells of tumors, and plays an important role in determining which cells have the capacity to sustain the tumor’s growth.  Learn more...