Virginia Commonwealth University

VCU Massey Cancer Center

Massey scientists uncover process that could drive the majority of cancers

The gene p53 has been described as the “guardian of the genome” due to its prominent role in preventing genetic mutations. More than half of all cancers are thought to originate from p53 mutations or loss of function, and now a recent study by VCU Massey Cancer Center scientist Richard Moran, Ph.D., explains why. 

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New drug combination in preclinical laboratory studies effectively kills brain and breast cancer, and inhibits Ebola, influenza and many other viruses and superbug bacteria

Paul Dent for blog

Scientists at Virginia Commonwealth University Massey Cancer Center have developed a drug combination that kills brain and breast cancer stem cells in preclinical laboratory studies. The breakthrough drug combination also prevents viruses, including Ebola, from replicating and makes “superbug” bacteria vulnerable to common antibiotics. The combination works by targeting a protein known as GRP78, according to a study published in the Journal of Cellular Physiology.

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Pre-clinical study shows potential to increase the effectiveness of leukemia treatments by blocking the production of a nuclear protein that affects chemotherapy response and tumor initiation

Preclinical experiments led by a team of researchers at VCU Massey Cancer Center have shown that blocking the production of a protein known as chromodomain helicase DNA-binding protein 4 (CHD4) may help increase the effectiveness of first-line treatments for acute myeloid leukemia (AML), a particularly lethal blood cancer that is increasing in incidence among older adults. 

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Twitter chat on prostate cancer

asit-paul

Last week, the National Cancer Institute and the Men’s Health Network co-hosted a Twitter chat on prostate cancer. The discussion focused on the future of treatments for the disease, and VCU Massey Cancer Center hematologist-oncologist Asit Paul, M.D., Ph.D., with nurse practitioner Gwen Parker, M.S., FNP-C weighed in as the moderator posed a series of questions.

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Massey researchers co-lead global breast cancer trials

Massey researchers are part of two international leadership teams recruiting subjects for phase 3 clinical trials testing novel breast cancer therapies. The first trial, known as KATHERINE, will test the efficacy and safety of a new antibody-drug conjugate, trastuzumab emtansine (T-DM1), in comparison to the standard FDA-approved drug Herceptin as post-operative, or “adjuvant”, therapy for early stage Human Epidermal Growth Factor Receptor 2-positive (HER2+) breast cancer patients.  The second trial, OlympiA, will test the efficacy of the drug olaparib as adjuvant therapy for high risk, triple negative breast cancer patients with inherited loss of the BRCA1 or BRCA2 cancer suppressor genes.

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