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Penn Medicine Cancer News



The latest news from Penn Medicine (the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine and Health System) and the Abramson Cancer Center.



Copyright: 2010, The Trustees of the University of Pennsylvania
 



Suppressing Protein Alleviates Radiation-Induced Bone Loss in Animal Model

Mon, 07 Nov 2016 17:00:00 GMT

Radiotherapy destroys cancer cells using high-energy ionizing radiation to damage DNA and induce cell death. About two million patients per year in the United States – more than 50 percent of all cancer patients -- receive radiotherapy at some stage during their illness, either alone or in combination with chemotherapy, surgery, and targeted medicines.



Stability of Exhausted T Cells Limits Durability of Cancer Checkpoint Drugs

Thu, 27 Oct 2016 18:00:00 GMT

Checkpoint inhibitor drugs that boost the immune system to fight cancer owe part of their existence to infectious diseases. Microbes that cause diseases like HIV, malaria, and hepatitis C exploit and often activate the same checkpoint pathways -- cell surface receptors such as CTLA4 and PD-1 -- to slow immune cells and prevent their elimination by the host. 



Fatty Diet Activates Oldest Branch of Immune System, Causing Intestinal Tumors

Mon, 26 Sep 2016 16:45:00 GMT

A high-fat-diet-induced immune reaction causes inflammation leading to intestinal cancer in a mouse model – even among animals that are not obese -- according to a new study from the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania.



Case for Liquid Biopsies Builds in Advanced Lung Cancer

Fri, 09 Sep 2016 14:45:00 GMT

For patients with advanced lung cancer, a non-invasive liquid biopsy may be a more effective and suitable alternative to the gold standard tissue biopsy to detect clinically relevant mutations and help guide their course of treatment, suggests a new study published this week in the journal Clinical Cancer Research from researchers at the Abramson Cancer Center at the University of Pennsylvania (ACC).



Penn Software Helps to Identify Course of Cancer Metastasis, Tumor "Evolution"

Fri, 09 Sep 2016 14:45:00 GMT

An interdisciplinary team from the Perelman School of Medicine and the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania developed Canopy, an approach to infer the evolutionary track of tumor cells by surveying two types of mutations derived from multiple samples taken from a single patient.



Cancer Checkpoint Drug Target Governs Metabolic Changes in Exhausted T Cells

Tue, 02 Aug 2016 18:45:00 GMT

A new study suggests that tweaking metabolic steps in combination with checkpoint blockade drugs may improve some cancer therapies, according to new research from the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania.



Penn Medicine Immunologist Receives Cancer Research Institute Award for New Discoveries on Exhausted T cells

Thu, 28 Jul 2016 17:15:00 GMT

E. John Wherry, PhD, a professor of Microbiology, director of the Institute for Immunology, and co-director of the Parker Institute for Cancer Immunotherapy at the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania, has been awarded the 2016 Frederick W. Alt Award for New Discoveries in Immunology from the Cancer Research Institute (CRI).



Hybrid Immune Cells in Early-Stage Lung Cancer Spur Anti-Tumor T Cells to Action

Thu, 14 Jul 2016 19:30:00 GMT

Researchers from the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania have now identified a unique subset of tumor associated neutrophils that exhibit hybrid characteristics of two immune cell types -- neutrophils and antigen-presenting cells -- in samples from early-stage human lung cancers.



Penn Preclinical Study Outlines Cardiovascular Side Effects of Breast Cancer Drug

Wed, 13 Jul 2016 17:30:00 GMT

A receptor protein that is the target of the breast cancer drug trastuzumab (Herceptin) is needed for proper heart blood-vessel development, reported researchers from the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania.



New Therapy Treats Autoimmune Disease Without Harming Normal Immunity

Thu, 30 May 2016 18:30:00 GMT

In a study with potentially major implications for the future treatment of autoimmunity and related conditions, scientists from the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania have found a way to remove the subset of antibody-making cells that cause an autoimmune disease, without harming the rest of the immune system.



Identifying How Merkel Cell Polyomavirus Infection can Cause a Lethal Carcinoma

Fri, 27 May 2016 16:30:00 GMT

A benign virus normally found in the skin can lead to a type of rare, lethal skin cancer. Specifically, infection by the Merkel cell polyomavirus can lead to Merkel cell carcinoma in immune-compromised individuals. Researchers have now identified a type of skin cell as the target of the virus in humans.



A Long-noncoding RNA Regulates Repair of DNA Breaks in Triple-Negative Breast Cancer Cells

Thu, 28 Apr 2016 20::00 GMT

Using a clinically guided genetic screening approach, researchers from the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania identified LINP1, a lncRNA.



Seeing Cell to Cell Differences for First Time Explains Symptoms of Rare Genetic Disorders, Finds Penn Study

Fri, 01 Apr 2016 14:15:00 GMT

Until now, researchers have lacked the tools to examine -- in a single cell --the exact readout from each genome to make RNA. Using a new technology that allows researchers to do just that, an interdisciplinary University of Pennsylvania team examined a rare disease in which these two genomes are expressed differently throughout the body, even sometimes in the same organ.



Blocking Transfer of Calcium to Cell's Powerhouse Selectively Kills Cancer Cells

Thu, 03 Feb 2016 17:00:00 GMT

Inhibiting the transfer of calcium ions into the cell’s powerhouse is specifically toxic to cancer cells, according to an article published this week in Cell Reports by researchers from the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania.



Penn Study: Immune Therapy Breaks Down Wall around Pancreatic Tumors for Chemo to Attack

Mon, 29 Feb 2016 14:15:00 GMT

In a new preclinical study in Cancer Discovery, researchers from the Abramson Cancer Center (ACC) at the University of Pennsylvania have uncovered the poorly understood mechanics of how macrophages can be "re-educated" by an experimental immune therapy to help tear down the scaffolding that surrounds and protects pancreas cancer from chemotherapy.



Penn Study Identifies Enzyme Key to Link Between Age-Related Inflammation and Cancer

Tue, 02 Feb 2016 17:15:00 GMT

For the first time, researchers have shown that an enzyme key to regulating gene expression -- and also an oncogene when mutated -- is critical for the expression of numerous inflammatory compounds that have been implicated in age-related increases in cancer and tissue degeneration, according to new research from the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania.



"Gene Fusion" Mutation Uses Three-Way Mechanism To Drive Childhood Brain Cancers

Tue, 02 Feb 2016 16:45:00 GMT

A powerful, three-way mechanism by which a mutation drives the growth of childhood brain cancers, was discovered by scientists from the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania and The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP).



Two Gatekeepers for One Gate: Penn Study Solves Mystery of Cell Powerhouse’s Balance of Calcium

Mon, 25 Jan 2016 19:30:00 GMT

A decades-long mystery of how the cell’s powerhouse, and its energy currency of calcium ion flow, is maintained under different physiological conditions has been solved by researchers from the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania.



Finding the Needle in a Microbial Haystack: Penn Researchers Test New Pathogen Detection Technology

Fri, 15 Jan 2016 18:00:00 GMT

In a recently published study in Cancer Biology and Therapy, a group of Penn colleagues used a version of the PathoChip microarray, which contains 60,000 probes for all known viruses, as well as a broad range of bacteria, protozoa, fungi, and helminthes, a parasitic worm, to identify the pathogenic agent in the sample of a patient.



Autophagy Works in Cell Nucleus to Guard Against Start of Cancer, Finds Penn Study

Wed, 28 Oct 2015 18:00:00 GMT

Autophagy, literally self-eating or the degradation of unwanted cellular bits and pieces by the cell itself, has been shown for the first time to also work in the cell nucleus. In addition, in this setting it plays a role in guarding against the start of cancer, according to new research from the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania.



Kojo S.J. Elenitoba-Johnson, MD, Named Founding Director of Center for Personalized Diagnostics at Penn

Mon, 26 Oct 2015 18:30:00 GMT

Kojo S.J. Elenitoba-Johnson, MD, has been named the founding director of Penn Medicine's Center for Personalized Diagnostics (CPD) and chief of the newly created division of the Molecular and Genomic Pathology in the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania. 



Nancy A. Speck, PhD, Named Chair of the Department of Cell and Developmental Biology in the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania

Wed, 21 Sep 2015 15:00:00 GMT

Nancy A. Speck, PhD, a widely recognized international leader in the field of blood-cell development, has been named chair of the department of Cell and Developmental Biology in the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania.



Penn Researchers Decode Microbial Signature of Aggressive Form of Breast Cancer

Thu, 15 Oct 2015 13:30:00 GMT

A new study from the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania, led by Erle S. Robertson, PhD and James C. Alwine, PhD, has identified, for the first time, an association between two microbial signatures and triple negative breast cancer (TNBC), the most aggressive form of the disease.



Turncoat Protein Regulates Sensitivity of Breast Cancer Cells to Drug, Providing New Target for Preventing Relapses, Finds Penn Study

Mon, 12 Oct 2015 16:00:00 GMT

A surprising, paradoxical relationship between a tumor suppressor molecule and an oncogene may be the key to explaining and working around how breast cancer tumor cells become desensitized to a common cancer drug, found researchers at the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania.



Penn Team Maps First Comprehensive Profile of Non-Protein-Coding RNAs to Provide Clinicians with New Way to Diagnose Array of Cancers

Mon, 12 Oct 2015 16:00:00 GMT

Most studies of genomic alterations in cancer have focused on the miniscule portion of the human genome that encodes protein. An international team, led by researchers at the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania, has now changed all of that.



"Chromosomal Chaos:" Complex Array of Mutations Found in Rare, Aggressive Leukemia

Wed, 07 Oct 2015 16:30:00 GMT

Sezary syndrome (SS), an aggressive leukemia of mature T cells, is more complicated at a molecular level than ever suspected, according to investigators from the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania.



Two-Hit Therapy for Breast Cancer Tumors Using Approved Drugs Looks Promising in Animal Study, Penn Study Finds

Wed, 07 Oct 2015 13:30:00 GMT

Disabling a cancer-causing pathway and administering an immune-molecule-based mop-up therapy eradicated a specific type of breast tumor in mice, according to researchers in the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania.



Penn Medicine Researcher Receives Champion of Hope Award

Thu, 01 Oct 2015 10:30:00 GMT

David Fajgenbaum, MD, MBA, MSc, a research assistant professor of Medicine, division of Hematology/Oncology, in the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania, has received the RARE Champion of Hope award for science.



Penn-developed, DNA-based Vaccine Clears Nearly Half of Precancerous Cervical Lesions in Clinical Trial

Wed, 30 Sep 2015 13:30:00 GMT

Using a novel synthetic platform for creating vaccines originally developed in the laboratory of David Weiner, PhD, a professor of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine from the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania, a team led by his colleagues at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, has successfully eradicated precancerous cervical lesions in nearly half of the women who received the investigational vaccine in a clinical trial.



Cancer Doesn't Sleep: The Myc Oncogene Disrupts Circadian Rhythm and Metabolism in Cancer Cells, Finds New Penn Study

Thu, 17 Sep 2015 16:00:00 GMT

Myc is a cancer-causing gene responsible for disrupting the normal 24-hour internal rhythm and metabolic pathways in cancer cells, found a team led by researchers from the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania.



Blood Cancers Develop When Immune Cell DNA Editing Enzyme Hits Off-target Spots in the Genome, Penn Animal Study Finds

Thu, 10 Sep 2015 16:00:00 GMT

Now, researchers from the Perelman School of Medicine, University of Pennsylvania have shown that when the enzyme key to cutting and pasting segments of DNA hits so-called "off-target" spots on a chromosome, the development of immune cells can lead to cancer in animal models.



Team Decodes Structure of Protein Complex Active in DNA Repair

Thu, 03 Sep 2015 16:00:00 GMT

A team led by Roger Greenberg, MD, PhD, an associate professor of Cancer Biology at Penn, and Frank Sicheri, PhD, in Toronto, report online in Molecular Cell ahead of print, the atomic structures of several BRCC36-containing complexes.



Mutation in Well-studied p53 Tumor Suppressor Protein Uses Epigenetic Pathways to Drive Aggressive Cancer Growth

Wed, 02 Sep 2015 17:00:00 GMT

Aggressive cancer growth and alterations in gene activity without changes in DNA sequence (epigenetics) are associated with mutant p53 proteins, according to new research from the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania.



Spread of Cancer from Pancreas Arises from the Interactions of Multiple Types of Wayward Cells

Wed, 12 Aug 2015 14:44:00 GMT

Tumor cells associated with pancreatic cancer often behave like communities by working with each other to increase tumor spread and growth to different organs. Groups of these cancer cells are better than single cancer cells in driving tumor spread, according to new research from the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania published in Cancer Discovery online in advance of the print issue.



Penn Study Details Powerful Molecular Promoter of Colon Cancers

Wed, 05 Aug 2015 18:00:00 GMT

Cancer researchers already know of some oncogenes and other factors that promote the development of colon cancers, but they don't yet have the full picture of how these cancers originate and spread. Now researchers from the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania have illuminated another powerful factor in this process.



Penn Medicine Scientist Receives 2015 Henry M. Stratton Medal Recognizing Contributions to Basic Hematology Research

Wed, 05 Aug 2015 14:15:00 GMT

The American Society of Hematology (ASH) has awarded Nancy Speck, PhD, a professor of Cell and Developmental Biology in the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania, the 2015 Henry M. Stratton Medal for Basic Science for her "seminal contributions in the area of hematology research."



Penn Scientists Find That Flow Means "Go" for Proper Lymph System Development

Mon, 27 Jul 2015 20:15:00 GMT

The lymphatic system provides a slow flow of fluid from our organs and tissues into the bloodstream. It returns fluid and proteins that leak from blood vessels, provides passage for immune and inflammatory cells from the tissues to the blood, and hosts key niches for immune cells. How this system develops hasn't been well understood, but now researchers from the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania have found from experiments in mice that the early flow of lymph fluid is a critical factor in the development of mature lymphatic vessels.



Hydraulic Fracturing Linked to Increases in Hospitalization Rates in the Marcellus Shale Region, According to Penn Study

Wed, 15 Jul 2015 18:00:00 GMT

Hospitalizations for heart conditions, neurological illness, and other conditions were higher among people who live near unconventional gas and oil drilling (hydraulic fracturing), according to new research from the University of Pennsylvania and Columbia University published this week in PLOS ONE.



Penn Researchers Home in on What's Wearing Out T Cells

Wed, 03 June 2015 14:30:00 GMT

Sometimes even cells get tired. When the T cells of your immune system are forced to deal over time with cancer or a chronic infection such as HIV or hepatitis C, they can develop "T cell exhaustion," becoming less effective and losing their ability to attack and destroy the invaders of the body. While the PD-1 protein pathway has long been implicated as a primary player in T cell exhaustion, a major question has been whether PD-1 actually directly causes exhaustion.



10th Anniversary Symposium of the Penn Center of Excellence in Environmental Toxicology

Wed, 20 May 2015 18:15:00 GMT

A group of researchers from Penn and other institutions in the region will come together this Friday to celebrate 10 years of environmental health research in the Center of Excellence in Environmental Toxicology (CEET).



Inflammation Stops the Clock: How the Immune System Controls the Human Biological Clock in Times of Infection

Fri, 18 May 2015 19:00:00 GMT

An important link between the human body clock and the immune system has relevance for better understanding inflammatory and infectious diseases, discovered collaborators at the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania and Trinity College, Dublin.



Penn Team Finds Protein "Cement" that Stabilizes the Crossroad of Chromosomes

Thu, 07 May 2015 18:00:00 GMT

A new study by researchers at the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania published in Science this week describes how the centromere is stabilized during replication.



Penn Medicine Study Reveals Why Almost Half of At-Risk Patients Opt Out of Comprehensive Multiplex Cancer Screening

Thu, 07 May 2015 13:00:00 GMT

Some at-risk patients opted out of comprehensive cancer gene screening when presented with the opportunity to be tested for the presence of genes linked to various cancers, according to a recent study led by researchers at the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania and the Basser Center for BRCA in Penn's Abramson Cancer Center.



NIH Awards 8 Million Dollar Renewal to Penn Medicine's Center of Excellence in Environmental Toxicology

Thu, 30 Apr 2015 15:00:00 GMT

The National Institutes of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS), part of the National Institutes of Health (NIH), has renewed its funding to the Center of Excellence in Environmental Toxicology (CEET), at the University of Pennsylvania's Perelman School of Medicine, for the next five years.



Penn-Sponsored Million Dollar Bike Ride to Raise Awareness about Rare Diseases

Tue, 28 Apr 2015 16:00:00 GMT

The second annual Million Dollar Bike Ride will be held on Saturday, May 9, 2015, to support research and raise awareness about rare diseases.



Penn Study Shows Risk of Breast and Ovarian Cancer May Differ By Type of BRCA1, BRCA2 Mutation

Tue, 07 Apr 2015 15:00:00 GMT

In a study involving more than 31,000 women with cancer-causing mutations in the BRCA1 or BRCA2 genes, researchers at the Basser Center for BRCA, the Abramson Cancer Center, and the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania, identified mutations that are associated with significantly different risks of breast and ovarian cancers.



Ken Burns Cancer Documentary to Feature Story of First Pediatric Patient to Receive Penn's Modified T Cell Therapy for Leukemia

Mon, 30 Mar 2015 13:45:00 GMT

The story of the first pediatric patient to receive an experimental cellular therapy developed by researchers at the University of Pennsylvania will be featured in this week's PBS documentary, "Cancer: The Emperor of All Maladies."



Penn Medicine Immunotherapy Pioneer Carl June, MD, Awarded 2015 Paul Ehrlich and Ludwig Darmstaedter Prize

Wed, 11 Mar 2015 15:00:00 GMT

University of Pennsylvania cancer and HIV expert Carl June, MD, has been named one of two recipients of the 2015 Paul Ehrlich and Ludwig Darmstaedter Prize for his outstanding work in cancer immunotherapy.



Radiation Plus Immunotherapy Combo Revs up Immune System to Better Attack Metastatic Melanoma, Penn Study Suggests

Mon, 9 Mar 2015 17:00:00 GMT

Treating metastatic melanoma with a triple threat—including radiation therapy and two immunotherapies that target the CTLA4 and PD-1 pathways—could elicit an optimal response in more patients, one that will boost the immune system's attack on the disease, suggests a new study from a multidisciplinary team of researchers from Penn's Abramson Cancer Center published today in Nature.



Penn Medicine Physician Finds No Preventive Benefits for Widely Used Kidney Cancer Drugs

Mon, 23 Feb 2015 21:00:00 GMT

Two widely used targeted therapy drugs— approved by the FDA for use in metastatic kidney cancer —are no more effective than a placebo in preventing return of the disease to increase life spans of patients suffering from advanced kidney cancer after surgery, according to new results to be presented by a researcher at the University of Pennsylvania's Abramson Cancer Center (ACC) during the 2015 Genitourinary Cancers Symposium.



Palbociclib Shows Promise in Patients with Hormone-Resistant Breast Cancer, Penn Study Finds

Fri, 20 Feb 2015 16:15:00 GMT

Palbociclib, an investigational oral medication that works by blocking molecules responsible for cancer cell growth, is well tolerated and extends progression-free survival (PFS) in newly diagnosed, advanced breast cancer patients, including those whose disease has stopped responding to traditional endocrine treatments, Penn Medicine researchers found.



Eczema Medication Unlikely to Increase Risk of Cancer in Children, Penn Team Finds

Thu, 19 Feb 2015 13:15:00 GMT

The topical eczema medicine pimecrolimus appears unlikely to be associated with an increased risk of cancer in children, based on a group of children who were followed for 10 years, according to study published online this week in JAMA Dermatology.



Penn Medicine Study Describes Development of Personalized Cellular Therapy for Brain Cancer

Wed, 18 Feb 2015 18:00:00 GMT

Immune cells engineered to seek out and attack a type of deadly brain cancer were found to be both safe and effective at controlling tumor growth in mice that were treated with these modified cells, according to a study published in Science Translational Medicine by a team from the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania and the Novartis Institutes for BioMedical Research. The results paved the way for a newly opened clinical trial for glioblastoma patients at Penn.



Cancer Patients Rarely Demand Unnecessary Tests and Treatments, According to Penn Medicine Study

Thur, 12 Feb 2015 17:30:00 GMT

Physicians often blame patient demands for contributing to high medical costs, however, a new study involving more than 5,000 patient-clinician visits indicates that cancer patients rarely push for unnecessary tests and treatments from their health care providers.



Life at Higher Elevation Linked to Lower Incidence of Lung Cancer, Penn Study Suggests

Wed, 14 Jan 2015 13:15:00 GMT

Lung cancer rates in both smokers and non-smokers are lower in higher-elevation counties in the western part of the United States, suggesting that oxygen may promote the incidence of lung cancer, according to a new study co-authored by a student at the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania.



Penn Study: Radiation Plus Hormone Therapy Prolongs Survival for Older Men with Prostate Cancer

Tue, 06 Jan 2015 14:30:00 GMT

Adding radiation treatment to hormone therapy saves more lives among older men with locally advanced prostate therapy than hormone therapy alone, according to a new study in the Journal of Clinical Oncology this week from Penn Medicine researchers.



Cutting Out the Cellular Middleman: New Technology Directly Reprograms Skin Fibroblasts For a New Role

Tue, 16 Dec 2014 9:00:00 GMT

As the main component of connective tissue in the body, fibroblasts are the most common type of cell. Taking advantage of that ready availability, scientists from the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania, the Wistar Institute, Boston University School of Medicine, and New Jersey Institute of Technology have discovered a way to repurpose fibroblasts into functional melanocytes, the body's pigment-producing cells.



Penn Study: Majority of Women with Early-Stage Breast Cancer in U.S. Receive Unnecessarily Long Courses of Radiation

Wed, 10 Dec 2014 15:00:00 GMT

Two-thirds of women treated for early-stage breast cancer in the U.S. receive longer radiation therapy than necessary, according to a new study published in JAMA this week from Penn Medicine researchers Ezekiel J. Emanuel, MD, PhD, and Justin E. Bekelman, MD.



Penn Medicine Researchers Announce Latest Results of Investigational Cellular Therapy CTL019

Mon, 08 Dec 2014 13:00:00 GMT

The latest results of clinical trials of more than 125 patients testing an investigational personalized cellular therapy known as CTL019 were presented by a University of Pennsylvania research team at the 56th American Society of Hematology Annual Meeting and Exposition.



Brain Activity after Smokers Quit Predicts Chances of Relapsing, Penn Medicine Study Suggests

Wed, 03 Dec 2014 15:00:00 GMT

Reporting in a new study published this week in the journal Neuropsychopharmacology, James Loughead, PhD, associate professor of Psychiatry, and Caryn Lerman, PhD, a professor of Psychiatry and director of Penn's Center for Interdisciplinary Research on Nicotine Addiction, found that smokers who relapsed within seven days from their target quit date had specific disruptions in the brain's working memory system during abstinence that separated them from the group who successfully quit.



Penn Medicine Researchers Named Winners of 2014 Discovery Fast Track Challenge

Tue, 02 Dec 2014 15:00:00 GMT

Three Philadelphia researchers -- Donna George, PhD, and Julia Leu, PhD, both from the Department of Genetics, Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania, and Maureen Murphy, PhD from The Wistar Institute, have been awarded a Discovery Fast Track Challenge grant from GlaxoSmithKline.



Classification of Gene Mutations in a Children's Cancer May Point to Improved Treatments

Mon, 10 Nov 2014 16:00:00 GMT

Oncology researchers studying gene mutations in the childhood cancer neuroblastoma are refining their diagnostic tools to predict which patients are more likely to respond to drugs called ALK inhibitors that target such mutations.



Penn Medicine Study: Olaparib Shows Success in Tumor Response Rate for Patients with BRCA-Related Cancers

Thu, 06 Nov 2014 19:30:00 GMT

Olaparib, an experimental twice-daily oral cancer drug, produces an overall tumor response rate of 26 percent in several advanced cancers associated with BRCA1 and BRCA2 mutations, according to new research co-led by the Abramson Cancer Center of the University of Pennsylvania.



Penn Medicine Studies Show New Evidence that Exercise Therapy, Acupuncture Benefit Breast Cancer Survivors

Tue, 04 Nov 2014 04:00:00 GMT

Two new studies from the Abramson Cancer Center and the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania offer hope for breast cancer survivors struggling with cancer-related pain and swelling, and point to ways to enhance muscular strength and body image.



Shared Decision Making During Radiation Therapy Improves Patient Satisfaction, May Help Alleviate Anxiety, Depression

Tue, 15 April 2014 17:00:00 GMT

Playing an active role in their radiation treatment decisions leaves cancer patients feeling more satisfied with their care, and may even relieve psychological distress around the experience, researchers from the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania report in the journal Cancer.



Protein Key to Cell Motility Might Stop Cancer Metastasis

Wed, 12 Mar 2014 14:45:00 GMT

"Cell movement is the basic recipe of life, and all cells have the capacity to move," says Roberto Dominguez, PhD, professor of Physiology at the Perelman School of Medicine, University of Pennsylvania. Motility — albeit on a cellular spatial scale — is necessary for wound healing, clotting, fetal development, nerve connections, and the immune response, among other functions. On the other hand, cell movement can be deleterious when cancer cells break away from tumors and migrate to set up shop in other tissues during cancer metastasis.



Two Behavioral Interventions Help Cancer Patients Struggling with Sleep Issues, Penn Medicine Study Finds

Fri, 10 Jan 2014 16:30:00 GMT

Cancer patients who are struggling with sleep troubles, due in part to pain or side effects of treatment, can count on two behavioral interventions for relief – cognitive behavioral therapy for insomnia (CBT-I) and mindfulness-based stress reduction (MBSR), Penn Medicine researchers report in a new study published online in the Journal of Clinical Oncology. While CBT-I is the gold standard of care, MBSR is an additional treatment approach that can also help improve sleep for cancer patients, the study found.



Penn Medicine Study Examines Use of Yoga to Lessen Side Effects of Prostate Cancer Treatment

Wed, 29 Nov 2013 14:00:00 GMT

A new, first-of-its-kind study by researchers at the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania seeks to learn whether men with prostate cancer who are undergoing radiation therapy can benefit from yoga. The study, led by Neha Vapiwala, MD, assistant professor of Radiation Oncology in Penn's Abramson Cancer Center, is examining the effect of yoga on cancer- and radiation-related fatigue, stress levels, and patients' quality of life during radiation therapy.



Penn Medicine Study Demonstrates Benefit of Acupuncture for Easing Joint Pain Among Breast Cancer Patients Taking Aromatase Inhibitors

Thu, 15 Nov 2013 19:00:00 GMT

Acupuncture can decrease the joint pain side effects often reported by breast cancer patients taking aromatase inhibitors (AIs), according to results of a new randomized trial conducted by a research team from the Abramson Cancer Center of the University of Pennsylvania. Their findings were published online this month in the European Journal of Cancer.



Treating Cancer that Has Spread to the Brain Locally with Neurosurgical Resection and Chemotherapeutic Wafers Can Improve Cognitive Function

Wed, 25 Sept 2013 17:00:00 GMT

A new approach to treating cancer that has spread to the brain is able to preserve and, in some cases, improve cognitive function in patients, while achieving local control of tumor progression. A study led by researchers with the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania found that 98 percent of patients who deferred whole brain radiation therapy and had chemotherapeutic wafers placed around the areas where metastatic tumors in the brain had been surgically removed showed preserved cognitive function in one or more of three domains; 65 percent showed preservation in all areas tested: memory, executive function, and fine motor skills.



"Not Your Madame's Isotope" – Safer Radium Therapy Provides Hope for Metastatic Prostate Cancer Patients

Tue, 17 July 2013 21:30:00 GMT

A study of a new radiotherapeutic drug published this week in the New England Journal of Medicine brings fresh hope for a particular group of cancer patients that otherwise suffer and ultimately die from the disease -- those with prostate cancer that has spread to their bones and has failed to be controlled by hormone deprivation drugs.



Testing for BRAF Genetic Mutation Beneficial Only in Aggressive Thyroid Cancers, Penn Editorial Suggests

Mon, 09 April 2013 18:00:00 GMT

Late stage thyroid cancer patients with aggressive disease may benefit from a genetic test, but experts caution that use of this test in early stage patients is inappropriate because it is unlikely to lead to better outcomes. Testing for BRAF V600E-positive tumors should be reserved for patients older than 45 who have more advanced disease, according to an accompanying editorial in JAMA co-authored by two Perelman School of Medicine researchers at the University of Pennsylvania.



Penn Medicine Study of Breast Cancer Message Boards Finds Frequent Discussion of Drug Side Effects, Discontinuation of Therapy

Tue, 15 Jan 2013 17:00:00 GMT

In the first study to examine discussion of drug side effects on Internet message boards, researchers from the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania found that breast cancer survivors taking the commonly prescribed adjuvant therapy known as aromatase inhibitors (AIs) often detailed in these forums troublesome symptoms resulting from the drugs, and they were apt to report discontinuing the treatment or switching to a different drug in the same class.



Cancer Suppressor Gene Links Metabolism with Cellular Aging

Mon, 14 Jan 2013 15:00:00 GMT

A team of researchers from the Perelman School of Medicine, University of Pennsylvania, has identified a class of p53 target genes and regulatory molecules that represent more promising therapeutic candidates.



Leukemia Patients Remain in Remission More Than Two Years After Receiving Genetically Engineered T Cell Therapy

Sun, 09 Dec 2012 22:00:00 GMT

Nine of twelve leukemia patients who received infusions of their own T cells after the cells had been genetically engineered to attack the patients' tumors responded to the therapy, which was pioneered by scientists in the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania.



Pathway Identified in Human Lymphoma Points Way to New Blood Cancer Treatments

Wed, 21 Nov 2012 13:15:00 GMT

Research shows for the first time that the UPR is active in patients with human lymphomas and mice genetically bred to develop lymphomas.



Tension on Gut Muscles Induces Cell Invasion in Zebrafish Intestine, Mimicking Cancer Metastasis, Penn Study Finds

Wed, 5 Sep 2012 23:30:00 GMT

Towards a better understanding of how tissue stiffness drives cancer, in a new paper published in PLoS Bio this week, Michael Pack, MD, associate professor of Medicine, Perelman School of Medicine, University of Pennsylvania, and colleagues, show that epithelial cells lining the intestine of zebrafish that carry an activating mutation of the smooth muscle myosin gene form protrusions called invadopodia that allow the cells to invade surrounding connective tissue.



Diabetes Drugs Prescribed to More than 15 Million Americans Raises Risk of Bladder Cancer, Penn Medicine Study Shows

Mon, 13 August 2012 14:00:00 GMT

A popular class of diabetes drugs increases patients' risk of bladder cancer, according to a new study published online this month in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute. Researchers from the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania found that patients taking thiazolidinedione (TZDs) drugs – which account for up to 20 percent of the drugs prescribed to diabetics in the United States -- are two to three times more likely to develop bladder cancer than those who took a sulfonylurea drug, another common class of medications for diabetes.



Graphic Warning Labels Improve Smokers' Recall of Warning and Health Risks Related to Smoking, Penn Medicine Study Shows

Fri, 15 June 2012 15:00:00 GMT

In a first of its kind study in the U.S., researchers at the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania (www.med.upenn.edu) have shown that the addition of graphic warning labels on cigarette packaging can improve smokers' recall of the warning and health risks associated with smoking.



Pancreatic Cancer Can Run but Not Hide from the Immune System, according to Penn Study

Tues, 12 June 2012 15:00:00 GMT

A study published this week in Cancer Cell from the Perelman School of Medicine and the Abramson Cancer Center at the University of Pennsylvania describes how pancreatic cancer cells produce a protein that attracts immune cells and tricks them into helping cancer cells grow.



Testicular Cancer Survivors Often Report Behaviors That Increase Risk of Cardiovascular Problems, Penn Study Shows

Thu, 31 May 2012 19:00:00 GMT

Despite being at risk of cardiovascular problems associated with testicular cancer treatment, survivors of the disease -- the most common type of cancer striking young men -- frequently report behaviors such as smoking and risky alcohol use that could further raise their chances of developing those late effects of treatment, according to a study from the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania that will be presented at the annual meeting of American Society of Clinical Oncology meeting on Saturday, June 2.



Penn Study Finds Delayed Side Effects of Head and Neck Cancer Treatments Go Unreported

Thu, 31 May 2012 19:00:00 GMT

National data show that currently more than 10 percent of preschoolers in the United States are obese, and an additional 10 percent are overweight. In a recently published article, a researcher from the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania, in collaboration with peers and colleagues from across the nation, says that effective strategies to target pregnancy, infancy, and toddlers are urgently needed to stop the progression of childhood obesity.



Photodynamic Therapy Added to Lung-Sparing Surgery Improves Survival for Mesothelioma Patients

Tue, 29 May 2012 13:00:00 GMT

Among patients with malignant pleural mesothelioma, treatment with lung-sparing surgery in combination with photodynamic therapy (PDT) yielded unusually long survival rates, with median survival rates up to two or more years longer than is reported with traditional treatments, according to new research from the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania.



Perelman School of Medicine Cancer Biologist Selected as a 2012 Pew Scholar in the Biomedical Sciences

Thu, 14 June 2012 15:00:00 GMT

Kathryn E. Wellen, PhD, assistant professor of Cancer Biology, Perelman School of Medicine, University of Pennsylvania, is among the 22 researchers named Pew Scholars in the Biomedical Sciences by The Pew Charitable Trusts this week.



FDA-approved Drug Makes Established Cancer Vaccine Work Better, Penn Study Finds

Wed, 16 May 2012 18:00:00 GMT

A team from the Perelman School of Medicine and the Abramson Family Cancer Research Institute at the University of Pennsylvania found that the FDA-approved drug daclizumab improved the survival of breast cancer patients taking a cancer vaccine by 30 percent, compared to those patients not taking daclizumab.



Block Its Recycling System, and Cancer Kicks the Can, According to New Penn Study

Tue, 8 May 2012 16:00:00 GMT

All cells have the ability to recycle unwanted or damaged proteins and reuse the building blocks as food. But cancer cells have ramped up the system, called autophagy, and rely on it to escape damage in the face of chemotherapy and other treatments.



Penn Medicine Cancer Team's "Serial Killer" T Cell Leukemia Treatment Named Among Nation's Top Clinical Research Achievements

Wed, 18 Apr 2012 15:00:00 GMT

Carl June, MD, director of Translational Research for the Abramson Cancer Center and a professor of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine in the Perelman School of Medicine at University of Pennsylvania, has been named among the top three winners of the inaugural Clinical Research Forum Top 10 Clinical Research Achievement Awards for his work treating chronic lymphocytic leukemia using genetically engineered versions of patients' own T cells, which multiply in the body as "serial killer" cells aimed at cancerous tumors.



Penn-Developed Online Cancer Resource Launches Redesign, New Features to Guide Patients, Caregivers

Wed, 14 Mar 2012 14:00:00 GMT

OncoLink®, a free cancer information website developed by experts at the University of Pennsylvania's Abramson Cancer Center has launched a redesigned website based on the search habits and feedback from patients, caregivers and health care providers who use the site.



New Universal Platform for Cancer Immunotherapy Developed by Penn-led Team

Mon, 5 Mar 2012 20:00:00 GMT

Researchers from the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania report this month in Cancer Research a universal approach to personalized cancer therapy based on T cells.



Penn Radiology Researchers Researchers Receive $2.5 Million NIH Grant for Breast Cancer Virtual Clinical Trials

Thu, 23 Feb 2012 16:00:00 GMT

Two researchers from the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania have been awarded a four-year, $2.5 million grant from the National Institutes of Health's National Cancer Institute to conduct breast cancer virtual clinical trials research.



New Combo of Chemo and Well-Known Malaria Drug Delivers Double Punch to Tumors

Mon, 20 Feb 2012 18:00:00 GMT

Blocking autophagy -- the process of "self-eating" within cells -- is turning out to be a viable way to enhance the effectiveness of a wide variety of cancer treatments.



Four-Week Vaccination Regimen Knocks Out Early Breast Cancer Tumors, Penn Researchers Report

Mon, 30 Jan 2012 04:00:00 GMT

Researchers at the Perelman School of Medicine and the Abramson Cancer Center at the University of Pennsylvania report that a short course of vaccination with an anti-HER2 dendritic cell vaccine made partly from the patient's own cells triggers a complete tumor eradication in nearly 20 percent of women with ductal carcinoma in situ (DCIS), an early breast cancer. More than 85 percent of patients treated appear to have a sustained immune response after vaccination, which may reduce their risk of developing a more invasive cancer in the future. The results of the study were published online this month of Cancer and in the January issue of the Journal of Immunotherapy.



Gender Differences in Liver Cancer Risk Explained by Small Changes in Genome, Penn Study Finds

Thu, 19 Jan 2012 04:00:00 GMT

Men are four times more likely to develop liver cancer compared to women, a difference attributed to the sex hormones androgen and estrogen. Although this gender difference has been known for a long time, the molecular mechanisms by which estrogens prevent -- and androgens promote -- liver cancer remain unclear.



Cell Tracking Allows Penn Researchers to See Metastasis of Pancreatic Cancer in Action

Thu, 19 Jan 2012 04:00:00 GMT

TBen Stanger, MD, PhD, assistant professor of Medicine in the Division of Gastroenterology at the Perelman School of Medicine, University of Pennsylvania, and Andrew Rhim, MD, a Gastroenterology Fellow in the Stanger lab, discovered that pancreatic cancer cells in an animal model begin to spread before clinically obvious tumor tissue is detected. What's more, they showed that inflammation enhances cancer progression in part by facilitating a cellular transformation that leads to entry of cancer cells into the circulation. They report their findings this week in Cell.



Cancer Cells Feed on Sugar-Free Diet

Thu, 12 Jan 2012 04:00:00 GMT

Cancer cells have been long known to have a "sweet tooth," using vast amounts of glucose for energy and for building blocks for cell replication.



Penn Researchers Shorten Time for Manufacturing of Personalized Ovarian Cancer Vaccine

Fri, 23 Dec 2011 04:00:00 GMT

Researchers from the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania are in the midst of testing a personalized, dendritic cell vaccine in patients with recurrent ovarian, primary peritoneal or fallopian tube cancer – a group of patients who typically have few treatment options. Now, they have shown they can shorten the time to manufacture this type of anti-cancer vaccine, which reduces costs of manufacturing the treatment while still yielding powerful dendritic cells that may be beneficial for these and a variety of other tumor types. The data is published in the December issue of PLoS ONE.



Novel Immuno-Gene Therapy Shows Promise for the Treatment of Rare, Deadly Form of Cancer

Thu, 15 Dec 2011 04:00:00 GMT

Researchers at the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania report promising new results from a small clinical trial using an immune-system-based gene therapy for treating advanced stages of a deadly cancer, malignant mesothelioma. The treatment, immuno-gene therapy, transfers just enough genetic material from an existing virus to trigger a patient's innate defenses to destroy cancer cells. The study results, published in the December 15th issue of the American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine, may lead to earlier interventions for patients using targeted therapies.



HIV Drug Reduces Graft-versus-Host Disease in Stem Cell Transplant Patients, Penn Study Shows

Tue, 13 Dec 2011 04:00:00 GMT

Inhibition of Lymphocyte Trafficking Using a CCR5 Antagonist – Final Results of a Phase I/II Study.



Penn Study Points to Novel Way to Improve Outcomes from Umbilical Cord Blood Transplants

Sun, 11 Dec 2011 04:00:00 GMT

A Phase 1 Dose Escalation Study of Infusion of ExVivo CD3/CD28 Costimulated Umbilical Cord Blood-Derived T Cells in Adults Undergoing Transplantation for Advanced Hematologic Malignancies.



Penn Researchers Repair Immune System in Leukemia Patients Following Chemotherapy

Sun, 11 Dec 2011 04:00:00 GMT

Adoptive Immunotherapy with Autologous CD3/CD28-Costimulated T-Cells After Fludarabine-Based Chemotherapy in Patients with Chronic Lymphocytic Leukemia.