Finding relief in the aftermath of Hurricane Maria: A patient’s journey from Puerto Rico to the National Institutes of Health

Jesus Garces-Soto and his wife, Lyssette Santiago, never expected to travel from Puerto Rico to the National Institutes of Health (NIH) in Bethesda, Maryland. On the same day that Hurricane Maria, a storm with 150-mile-per-hour winds, made direct landfall on Puerto Rico in 2017, Garces-Soto needed to seek treatment for an infection related to bladder cancer. Destruction from the hurricane took out the hospital’s electricity, and with no generator, it was difficult to provide adequate care. With help from members of the American Cancer Society and the National Cancer Institute, Garces-Soto and Santiago were flown to NIH where Garces-Soto is receiving care from Andrea Apolo, M.D., Investigator and Lasker Clinical Research Scholar in the Genitourinary Malignancies Branch. Read more...

NCI interns participate in NIH annual Summer Intern Poster Day

Posted: Aug 11, 2017

After a summer of hard work, over 250 NCI summer interns presented their cancer research on August 10, 2017, at the NIH annual Summer Intern Poster Day. Part of the NIH Summer Internship Program in Biomedical Research, students were placed across NCI and other institutes to further their education and develop valuable skills in biomedical technology. NIH offers several summer internship opportunities to students of various educational backgrounds and interests. 

NCI interns participate in NIH annual Summer Intern Poster Day

Freddy Escorcia appointed as Assistant Clinical Investigator

Posted: Aug 9, 2017

Freddie Escorcia, M.D., Ph.D., has been appointed as an Assistant Clinical Investigator in the Molecular Imaging Program (MIP). Dr. Escorcia's work focuses on tumor-targeted, personalized cancer treatment. Targeted radionuclide therapy provides an orthogonal mode of cell killing that is distinct from, yet complementary to, existing small molecule and chemotherapy treatments.  Learn more...

Freddy Escorcia appointed as Assistant Clinical Investigator
"First in Human" clinical trials at the NIH Clinical Center

"First in Human" documentary features CCR physician-scientists

Posted: Aug 9, 2017

The National Cancer Institute's Center for Cancer Research is proud to be a part of "First in Human", a documentary capturing the real-life experiences of doctors, researchers, staff, patients and their caregivers at the NIH Clinical Center. Our CCR physician-scientists are dedicated to leading cutting-edge clinical trials aimed at discovering new and better treatments for cancer. The CCR’s clinical program is the largest of NIH programs housed at the Clinical Center, and we are proud of our history of success. But none of it would be possible without our patients, like Bo, Anita and Lucy. With deep respect, we salute their courage and thank them. Learn more...

"First in Human" documentary features CCR physician-scientists

Keeping genome organized creates opportunities for damage

Posted: 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. 

Keeping genome organized creates opportunities for damage

New study identifies essential genes for cancer immunotherapy

Posted: Aug 7, 2017

Nicholas Restifo, M.D., Senior Investigator in CCR’s Surgery Branch, published a new study in Nature on August 7, 2017, and was featured in an NCI Press Release. This new study identifies genes that are necessary in cancer cells for immunotherapy to work, addressing the problem of why some tumors don’t respond to immunotherapy or respond initially but then stop as tumor cells develop resistance to immunotherapy.

Dr. Restifo said in the press release, “There is a great deal of interest in cancer immunotherapy, especially for patients who have metastatic cancer. The response to immunotherapy can be fantastic, but understanding why some patients don’t respond will help us improve treatments for more patients.”

New study identifies essential genes for cancer immunotherapy

Trial opens to evaluate experimental cancer drug against solid tumors

Posted: Aug 2, 2017

Chemotherapy drugs have long been the mainstay of treatment for advanced solid tumors, but the toxic side effects of these drugs often limit the amount that can safely be given to patients. Doctors hope that PEN-866, an experimental cancer drug, can help to overcome this difficulty. Anish Thomas, M.D., who is leading this new trial, says, “This is a first-of-its-kind approach to facilitate tumor targeted delivery of chemotherapy drugs, which, if successful, would be a big step forward for cancer therapy.” Learn more...

Trial opens to evaluate experimental cancer drug against solid tumors

New clinical trial will test immunotherapy for type of HPV infection

Posted: Aug 1, 2017

Vulvar high-grade squamous intraepithelial lesion (HSIL) is caused by chronic infection with the human papillomavirus (HPV) type 16. Patients with vulvar HSIL have an increased risk of developing cancer. Lesions are usually treated surgically. However, the vulvar lesions commonly recur because of persistent systemic infection with HPV. Christian Hinrichs, M.D., a Lasker Clinical Research Scholar in the Experimental Transplantation and Immunology Branch is leading a study of a systemic immunotherapy directed at killing the HPV infection causing vulvar HSIL. Read more...

New clinical trial will test immunotherapy for type of HPV infection
Anish Thomas, MBBS, M.D.

Anish Thomas appointed as new NIH Lasker Scholar

Posted: Jul 27, 2017

Anish Thomas, M.D., of CCR’s Developmental Therapeutics Branch, has been appointed as an NIH Lasker Scholar Tenure Track Investigator. Dr. Thomas is involved in translational clinical trials focusing on lung cancer, mesothelioma and thymic cancers. His research interests include chemotherapy resistance and the use of synthetic lethal approaches against DNA damage response pathways, immunotherapy of thoracic cancers, predictive markers for response to biologic therapy, the cancer drug development process and clinical trial design.

Anish Thomas appointed as new NIH Lasker Scholar
neuroblastoma cells

A protein in neuroblastoma could be a target of immunotoxins or immunotherapy

Posted: Jul 27, 2017

A cell surface protein, glycoprotein glypican-2 (GPC2), has been found to be an effective therapeutic target in cell cultures and mouse models that mimic childhood neuroblastoma.  The CCR scientists who made this discovery, reported July 24, 2017, in PNAS, have also produced immunotoxins and chimeric antigen receptor (CAR) T cells, a type of immunotherapy, that have shown promise against this solid tumor. Read more...

A protein in neuroblastoma could be a target of immunotoxins or immunotherapy
microscope

A new imaging technique to detect recurrent prostate cancer is tested in new clinical trial

Posted: Jul 26, 2017

Standard imaging techniques cannot accurately locate sites of prostate cancer metastasis. The use of 18F-DCFPyL, a second-generation PET agent, aims to improve doctors’ ability to assess high-risk primary tumors, detect sites of recurrent prostate cancer and target therapies to specific sites of recurrence. Read more...

A new imaging technique to detect recurrent prostate cancer is tested in new clinical trial

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