VCU Massey Cancer Center leader and physician-researcher Harry Bear, M.D., Ph.D., has been appointed to serve on the Board of Directors of the NSABP Foundation, Inc. The NSABP – National Surgical Adjuvant Breast and Bowel Project – Foundation is the world’s leading cooperative group for designing and conducting large-scale breast and colorectal cancer clinical trials. Supported by the National Cancer Institute (NCI) since its inception more than 50 years ago, the group has pioneered trials that have changed the way breast and bowel cancers are treated and prevented.
Recently, the National Cancer Institute hosted a Twitter chat on cancer pain. Patrick Coyne, M.S.N., A.P.R.N., F.A.A.N., clinical director of the Palliative Care Program at VCU Massey Cancer Center and world-renowned pain management specialist, provided expert commentary as the moderator posed a series of questions and discussion topics.
VCU Massey Cancer Center and VCU Institute of Molecular Medicine (VIMM) researchers discovered a unique approach to treating pancreatic cancer that may be potentially safe and effective. The treatment method involves immunochemotherapy – a combination of chemotherapy and immunotherapy, which uses the patient’s own immune system to help fight against disease. This pre-clinical study, led by Paul B. Fisher, M.Ph., Ph.D., and Luni Emdad, M.B.B.S., Ph.D., found that the delivery of [pIC]PEI – a combination of the already-established immune-modulating molecule, polyinosine-polycytidylic acid (pIC), with delivery molecule polyethlenimine (PEI), a polymer often used in detergents, adhesives and cosmetics – inside pancreatic cancer cells triggers cancer cell death without harming normal pancreatic cells.
In cancer research, discovering a new protein that plays a role in cancer is like finding a key and a treasure map: follow the clues and eventually there could be a big reward. At least that’s the hope from a new study published in the journal Nature that discovered a novel protein called ceramide-1 phosphate transport protein (CPTP) – a finding that could eventually lead to the development of new drugs to treat a variety of cancers and other conditions involving inflammation and thrombosis, or blood clotting.
Researchers at VCU Massey Cancer Center have uncovered a novel function of the gene PLK1 (polo-like kinase 1) that helps prostate cancer cells metastasize (spread) to other parts of the body. This mechanism highlights new potential targets for cancer therapies and challenges the previous understanding of PLK1’s role in cancer growth and progression.