Virginia Commonwealth University

VCU Massey Cancer Center

VCU Massey Cancer Center researchers overcome barrier to cancer immunotherapy

In lab studies, researchers at Virginia Commonwealth University Massey Cancer Center have effectively reprogrammed cells of the innate and adaptive immune system to overcome a key cancer defense mechanism and develop long-lasting memory to reject breast cancer cells and guard against tumor relapse. Reported in the Journal of Immunology and led by Masoud Manjili, D.V.M., Ph.D., assistant professor of microbiology and immunology at VCU Massey, the study discovered a way to improve adoptive cellular therapy ACT for breast cancer.

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Viagra drug trio improves effectiveness of cancer treatment while protecting the heart

A new drug combination featuring the widely-known impotence drug Viagra has been found to improve the effectiveness of cancer treatment while protecting the heart from harm caused by a popular form of chemotherapy. With nearly half of all cancer survivors dying from other conditions than cancer, most notably cardiovascular disease, this new treatment is not only innovative but necessary.

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Scientists discover mechanism that could reverse obesity

Massey research member Andrew Larner

Approximately 68 percent of U.S. adults are overweight or obese, according to the National Cancer Institute, which puts them at greater risk for developing cancer, cardiovascular disease, diabetes and a host of other chronic illnesses.  But an international team of scientists led by Virginia Commonwealth University Massey Cancer Center researcher Andrew Larner, M.D., Ph.D., has successfully reversed obesity in mice by manipulating the production of an enzyme known as tyrosine-protein kinase-2 (Tyk2). 

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Physician-researcher receives 2012 Alliance Research Grant

VCU Massey Cancer Center hematologist-oncologist Beata Holkova, M.D., was recently awarded an Alliance Research Grant to support her work involving drug combinations to battle B-cell lymphomas. The grant was presented at this year’s Alliance Group Meeting in Chicago, Illinois. Holkova is a Harrison Endowed Scholar and member of the Developmental Therapeutics research program at VCU Massey Cancer Center and assistant professor of hematology-oncology and internal medicine at the VCU School of Medicine.

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Research breakthrough could halt melanoma metastasis

In laboratory experiments, scientists have eliminated metastasis, the spread of cancer from the original tumor to other parts of the body, in melanoma by inhibiting a protein known as melanoma differentiation associated gene-9 (mda-9)/syntenin. More than 1 million cases of skin cancer are diagnosed each year in the U.S., and melanoma is the deadliest form. With further research, the approach used by the scientists could lead to targeted therapies that stop metastasis in melanoma and potentially a broad range of additional cancers.

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