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2010 Archive

Knowledge of genetic cancer risks often dies with patients

If you were dying from cancer, would you consider genetic testing? A recent study conducted by researchers from Virginia Commonwealth University Massey Cancer Center showed that most terminally ill cancer patients who were eligible for genetic testing never received it despite the fact that it could potentially save a relative's life.

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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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Grant supports Massey brain cancer collaboration

VCU Massey Cancer Center Investigator Devanand Sarkar, M.B.B.S., Ph.D., VCU Department of Human and Molecular Genetics and VCU Institute of Molecular Medicine was recently awarded a five-year grant totaling $450,000 by the James S. McDonnell Foundation to analyze a gene linked to brain cancer. The foundation awards grants via a highly-selective, peer-review process that seeks out innovative scientific research with real-world applications.

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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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