Virginia Commonwealth University

VCU Massey Cancer Center

New link found between inflammation and cancer

Massey Cancer Center researchers have uncovered a new link between chronic inflammation and cancer. Although cancers don't always cause inflammation, chronic inflammation is known to help tumor cells grow. In an article published in the recent June issue of Nature, VCU Massey scientists Sarah Spiegel, Ph.D., and Tomasz Kordula, Ph.D., and their co-authors examine how sphingosine-1-phosphate (S1P), a lipid mediator in the blood that influences immune cell circulation, also regulates inflammation and cancer. They reported that S1P is a missing cofactor that is required for the activity of TRAF2, the key regulator of NF-kappaB, which acts as a master on-off switch in controlling inflammation and cancer.

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VCU Massey discovery could lead to breakthrough for non-small cell lung cancer

Research at Virginia Commonwealth University Massey Cancer Center led by Charles E. Chalfant, Ph.D., associate professor of biochemistry and molecular biology, discovered a previously unknown mechanism in non-small cell lung cancer cells that contributes to their ability to maintain and grow tumors. Narrowing in on this mechanism could provide a breakthrough for the development of effective therapies for NSCLC and other cancers.

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New function of gene in promoting cancer found

Researchers at Virginia Commonwealth University have discovered that a gene well known for its involvement in tumor cell development, growth and metastasis also protects cancer cells from being destroyed by chemotherapy. By inhibiting the expression of this gene, doctors may have a new viable and effective approach for treating aggressive cancers such as breast, liver and prostate carcinomas, malignant gliomas and neuroblastomas that result from high expression of this cancer-promoting gene.

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Key leukemia defense mechanism discovered by VCU Massey Cancer Center

Virginia Commonwealth University Massey Cancer Center researcher Steven Grant, M.D., and a team of VCU Massey researchers have uncovered the mechanism by which leukemia cells trigger a protective response when exposed to a class of cancer-killing agents known as histone deacetylase inhibitors (HDACIs). The findings, published in the Journal of Biological Chemistry, could lead to more effective treatments in patients with leukemia and other cancers of the blood.

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Researchers discover a drug combination that shrinks tumors in vivo

Virginia Commonwealth University School of Medicine and VCU Massey Cancer Center researchers have shown that the impotence drug Viagra, in combination with doxorubicin, a powerful anti-cancer drug, enhances its anti-tumor efficacy in prostate cancer while alleviating the damage to the heart at the same time.

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