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Drug combination therapy causes cancer cells to “eat themselves”

Results from a recent preclinical study led by Paul Dent, Ph.D., have shown that a new drug combination therapy being developed at Virginia Commonwealth University Massey Cancer Center effectively killed colon, liver, lung, kidney, breast and brain cancer cells while having little effect on noncancerous cells. The results lay the foundation for researchers to plan a future phase 1 clinical trial to test the safety of the therapy in a small group of patients.

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Massey researcher awarded over $5 million to investigate pediatric obesity and cancer-related co-morbidities

VCU Massey Cancer Center researcher Melanie Bean, Ph.D., L.C.P., was awarded over $5 million in grant funding by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) to study factors that may impact pediatric obesity and cancer-related co-morbidities among traditionally underserved populations.

 

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Translational research: from bench to bedside

Massey’s science-driven translational research – moving scientific discoveries from the laboratory into real-world patient applications – is one of the many reasons the National Cancer Institute recently awarded Massey a five-year renewal as one of only two NCI-designated Cancer Centers in Virginia. Often described as “bench-to-bedside” research, translational research involves several stages, including clinical trials, where consenting patients are given drugs, surgical procedures, devices or other interventions to treat cancer and are then closely monitored to determine side effects, effectiveness and other key findings. 

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Scientists develop mouse model that could lead to new therapies for liver cancer

Researchers have created the first mouse model demonstrating the role of a cancer promoting gene, Astrocyte elevated gene-1 (AEG-1), in hepatocellular carcinoma, or liver cancer. The mouse model represents a critical step in understanding the molecular mechanisms of liver cancer progression and could lead to novel therapies for the disease.

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VCU scientists develop computer models simulating stem cell transplant recovery

Scientists at Virginia Commonwealth University have developed computer models that can simulate the recovery of the immune system in patients undergoing stem cell transplants. In two recent studies, they reinforce the potential of using DNA sequencing and computer modeling to predict which stem cell transplant recipients might suffer complications such as graft-versus-host-disease, a condition where the donor’s immune system attacks the recipient’s body. The studies build upon prior research by scientists at VCU Massey Cancer Center, the VCU Center for the Study of Biological Complexity and VCU’s Department of Psychiatry and Statistical Genomics that found evidence that the immune system may be modeled as a dynamical system.  

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