Focused Ultrasound as a Non-invasive Treatment for Breast Cancer

As physicians discover breast cancers at earlier stages, many women seek therapies that are effective yet non-invasive and non-scarring. Allison Payne, PhD, and her colleagues have developed a magnetic resonance-guided, focused ultrasound system specifically designed for breast tumor therapy. Steered by the physician, this system delivers high-intensity ultrasound waves to a precise area inside the breast, where non-invasively destroy malignant tissues are non-invasively destroyed with heat. Continue reading → Focused Ultrasound as a Non-invasive Treatment for Breast Cancer

Cellular Origins of Pancreatic Cancer

Our pancreas has two main functions, endocrine control of blood sugar and exocrine production of the enzymes that digest our food. These enzymes are synthesized by pancreatic acinar cells and transported to the intestine through a network of pancreatic duct cells. Pancreatic cancer, the third deadliest cancer in the U.S., was previously assumed, based on histology and gene expression, to arise from duct cells. Continue reading → Cellular Origins of Pancreatic Cancer

Improved Prognostic Testing for Patients with Triple Negative Breast Cancer

Approximately 40% of patients with stage I-III triple-negative breast cancer (TNBC) have recurrences after standard treatment, whereas the remaining 60% experience long-term disease-free survival. However, there are currently no clinical tests to assess the risk of recurrence in TNBC patients. Continue reading → Improved Prognostic Testing for Patients with Triple Negative Breast Cancer

Combination Therapy for Treatment-Resistant Pancreatic Cancer

McMahon and colleagues reported that simultaneous combined inhibition of MEK plus autophagy displayed synergistic anti-proliferative effects against cultured pancreatic cancer cell lines and promoted regression of xenografted patient-derived pancreatic tumors in mice. Continue reading → Combination Therapy for Treatment-Resistant Pancreatic Cancer

Ovarian Cancer Subtyping to Understand Risk, Treatment, Survival, and Racial/Ethnic Disparities

Ovarian cancer is the deadliest gynecologic cancer, with a five-year survival of only 47%. Doherty and colleagues have focused on deciphering heterogeneity in ovarian cancer tumors, as a guide to the understanding of risk, treatment, survival, and racial/ethnic disparities. Continue reading → Ovarian Cancer Subtyping to Understand Risk, Treatment, Survival, and Racial/Ethnic Disparities

Improved Genetic Models for Non-small-cell Lung Cancer

Oliver and colleagues developed a genetic model of non-small-cell lung cancer (NSCLC)-squamous cell carcinoma and used the model to show how lineage-defining transcription factors such as Sox2 and NKX2-1 activate genes and pathways that determine different tumor immune microenvironments. Continue reading → Improved Genetic Models for Non-small-cell Lung Cancer

Maintaining Epithelial Barriers

A vital issue in cell biology is how epithelial sheets provide a barrier while balancing cell growth and death, and withstand the stretching forces that sheets experience in vivo. Rosenblatt and colleagues demonstrated that mechanical stretching stimulates epithelial cell division and characterized the stretch-sensitive Piezo1 channel as well as the downstream signaling that triggers cell division. Continue reading → Maintaining Epithelial Barriers

Cancer Symptom Care at Home

Huntsman Cancer Institute investigator Kathi Mooney, PhD, RN, and her colleague, Susan Beck, PhD, APRN, developed Symptom Care at Home, an automated, remote-monitoring platform that assesses 11 cancer symptoms at home, provides automated self-management coaching based on the symptom severity reported, and automatically alerts the clinical team about symptoms requiring further intervention. Continue reading → Cancer Symptom Care at Home

Defining Pathways for Formation and Suppression of Highly Metastatic Lung Tumors

Cancers arise from the complex interplay of oncogene activation and tumor suppressor inactivation. Oliver and colleagues uncovered how Myc cooperates with other oncogene products to promote aggressive, highly metastatic lung tumors. Continue reading → Defining Pathways for Formation and Suppression of Highly Metastatic Lung Tumors

The Role of IDH Mutation in Human Brain Tumors

Sheri Holmen, PhD, was the first to show that IDH mutations, on the appropriate genetic background, resulted in glioma initiation and growth. This discovery provided the basis of a pre-clinical model for testing the contribution of other molecular alterations to the pathogenesis of, and the effects of various treatments on, these tumors. Howard Colman, MD, PhD, and colleagues subsequently demonstrated that increased DNA alterations were associated with higher-grade gliomas and worse prognoses. Continue reading → The Role of IDH Mutation in Human Brain Tumors