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.
Each year, approximately one million cancer patients undergo radiation therapy and yet many have very little understanding of how it works or what to expect. Now, a pilot study conducted at Virginia Commonwealth University Massey Cancer Center suggests that educational videos shown before the patients’ initial consultation with their radiation oncologist can significantly boost their understanding of the planning and treatment process.
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.