CCR researchers show selumetinib shrinks tumors in children with NF1

Findings from a phase 2 clinical trial show that the drug selumetinib improves outcomes for children with the genetic disorder neurofibromatosis type 1 (NF1). In the trial, selumetinib shrank the inoperable tumors that develop with NF1 called plexiform neurofibromas, and children experienced reduced pain, improved function, and better overall quality of life after receiving the treatment. This trial was led by Brigitte Widemann, M.D., Chief of the Pediatric Oncology Branch (POB), and Andrea M. Gross, M.D., Assistant Research Physician in POB, and the results were published March 18, 2020, in the New England Journal of Medicine. Read more...

CCR researchers show selumetinib shrinks tumors in children with NF1
nanoparticles in the brain

FDA grants orphan drug designation to zotiraciclib for the treatment of glioma

Jan 9, 2020

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration granted orphan drug status in December to zotiraciclib for use in patients with glioma, a cancer of the brain that begins in glial cells (cells that surround and support nerve cells). This designation is based on results from an ongoing NCI-sponsored phase 1 trial led by the CCR Neuro-Oncology Branch at the NIH Clinical Center. Read more...


Protein affecting cell division hints at a way to overcome drug resistance

Jan 9, 2020

Researchers have uncovered the way in which a protein, called CLR4, helps complete the cell division process. The mechanism could potentially be harnessed to overcome resistance of cancer cells to chemotherapy drugs such as paclitaxel. Read more...

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Jay Berzofsky and Hoyoung Maeng discuss new vaccine to help men with prostate cancer

Jan 7, 2020

Jay Berzofsky, M.D., Ph.D., Chief of the Vaccine Branch, and Hoyoung Maeng, M.D., Assistant Research Physician in the Vaccine Branch, recently discussed their ongoing work to design and develop vaccines and immunotherapy for cancer prevention and treatment with Cancer Therapy Advisor. They share how they are testing a vaccine that may one day delay the need to use androgen deprivation therapy (ADT) in prostate cancer patients.  Read more...

Julie Jones poses with toys

Former Pediatric Oncology Branch patient donates toys to NIH Pediatric Clinic

Jan 6, 2020

In December, former patient Julie Jones donated over 1,000 toys to the Pediatric Clinic at the NIH Clinical Center. Jones is a former patient in the Pediatric Oncology Branch who was treated more than 20 years ago for alveolar rhabdomyosarcoma. She says, “I remember what it was like. What these children are going through at such a young age really breaks your heart. I’ve often said there’s nothing greater than seeing the smile on the face of a sick child.” Read more...

Lock and keys

Binding preferences of Ras and Raf yield clues for developing targeted cancer therapies

Dec 19, 2019

Using living cells, researchers in CCR have found that a set of enzymatic proteins, known as Raf kinases, have differing affinities in how they bind to a class of cancer-related proteins, known as the Ras GTPases. This could offer new strategies for developing more effective targeted therapies. Read more...

histone hyperacetylation model

Histone deacetylase inhibitors block cancer-driving gene networks by obstructing DNA folding

Dec 19, 2019

Studies of the pediatric cancer rhabdomyosarcoma have revealed an unexpected way to intervene in cell-identity-determining networks that are abused by many aggressive cancers. Read more...


Differences between anti-viral and anti-tumor T-cell responses could impact immunotherapy

Dec 19, 2019

A finding published in Cell Reports holds promise for resolving some of the conundrums surrounding CD4+ T cells and their potential in fighting cancer. The work found that CD4+ T-cell responses to tumor antigens are quite different from those to infections, highlighting a need to re-think how to harness the power of CD4+ T cells.  Read more...

lung cancer desmoplasia

New findings hint at therapies for African Americans with lung cancer

Dec 16, 2019

A study published in Nature Communications reveals that two genes tend to be mutated at higher rates in cancerous lung tissue samples taken from African Americans, hinting that these patients may benefit more from certain therapies targeting those genes. Read more...

Chris Buck

Christopher Buck recently featured in Nature Index article

Dec 12, 2019

Christopher Buck, Ph.D., Senior Investigator in the Laboratory of Cellular Oncology, was recently featured in a Nature Index article where he discussed US-China scientific relations and how collaboration between the two remains strong.  Read more...

Ronald Gress

Ronald Gress discusses therapeutic potential of supercentinarian immune cells

Dec 12, 2019

Ronald Gress, M.D., Chief of the Experimental Transplantation and Immunotherapy Branch, was recently featured in a Forbes article about a unique feature of the immune system of supercentenarians—an increased frequency of certain subset of CD4 T-cells that could play a role in the longevity of these individuals. Dr. Gress discussed several important questions that must be investigated to understand the therapeutic potential of these T-cells. Read more...