New Computer Program Can Help Uncover Hidden Genomic Alterations that Drive Cancers

Cancer is rarely the result of a single mutation in a single gene. Rather, tumors arise from the complex interplay between any number of mutually exclusive abnormal changes in the genome, the combinations of which can be unique to each individual patient. To better characterize the functional context of genomic variations in cancer, researchers at University of California San Diego School of Medicine and the Broad Institute developed a new computer algorithm they call REVEALER.

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CAR Trials Drive Leukemia and Lymphoma Treatment in New Direction

Cancer immunology is based upon boosting the body’s own immune system to vanquish malignancies. It is among the fastest growing areas of oncology res2016_02_23_human_t_cell_nihearch. Researchers at UC San Diego Moores Cancer Center have launched three clinical trials to test the safety and efficacy of a novel cellular-immunotherapy that uses modified T cells – one of the immune system’s primary weapons – to treat three different types of blood cancer that often defy existing therapies.

Experimental cellular-immunotherapy may boost body’s ability to find and destroy specific cancers (click to continue reading)

Cancer Trials At UCSD Aim To Use Body’s Immune System

Three clinical trials are underway at the Moores Cancer Center to test a way to harness the body’s immune system to fight cancer, UC San Diego Health Sciences said Tuesday.

Scientists in the studies are using modified T cells — white blood cells that are one of the immune system’s primary weapons — to treat three different types of blood cancer that often defy existing therapies.

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Protein-Protein Interaction Activates and Fuels Leukemia Cell Growth

Findings also show how an experimental monoclonal antibody treatment inhibits growth and spread of cancer

Stained chronic lymphocytic leukemia cells.

Stained chronic lymphocytic leukemia cells.

Building upon previous research, scientists at University of California, San Diego School of Medicine and UC San Diego Moores Cancer report that a protein called Wnt5a acts on a pair of tumor-surface proteins, called ROR1 and ROR2, to accelerate the proliferation and spread of chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL) cells, the most common form of blood cancer in adults.

They note, however, that these effects of Wnt5a were blocked by a humanized monoclonal antibody specific for ROR1, called cirmtuzumab (or UC-961), which inhibited the growth and spread of CLL cells in both cell lines and mouse models of leukemia. The findings are published in the December 21, 2015 issue of The Journal of Clinical Investigation.

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UC San Diego Researchers Link Higher Risk of Leukemia to Low Sunlight and Vitamin D

Epidemiologists at University of California, San Diego School of Medicine report that persons residing at higher latitudes, with lower sunlight/ultraviolet B (UVB) exposure and greater prevalence of vitamin D deficiency, are at least two times at greater risk of developing leukemia than equatorial populations.

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Pedal the Cause: Annual Fundraiser for Cancer Research

RoadBikingv1Pedal the Cause is an annual cycling fundraiser in which 100 percent of the net proceeds stay in San Diego to benefit cancer research at the three local National Cancer Institute-designated cancer centers, UC San Diego Moores Cancer Center, Sanford-Burnham Medical Research Institute and the Salk Institute for Biological Studies. The goal is to fund research that may lead to a cure for cancer.

The third annual event will take place September 18-20, 2015, featuring courses for any riding ability, from 10 miles up to a two-day ride. Participants can register to ride, become a virtual rider, or volunteer. Register at  http://sandiego.pedalthecause.org

BCRF Collaborators Make a Strong Showing

“Cancer research is moving at an accelerated pace but there are still many unanswered questions that our team is trying to answer through innovative science,” said Scott Lippman, MD, director of Moores Cancer Center at UC San Diego Health. “The NCI Outstanding Investigator Award provides important additional resources that will help us realize scientific discoveries best accomplished at a comprehensive cancer center.”

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