Advancing Knowledge
Training Leaders
Pioneering Treatments
Advancing Knowledge
Training Leaders
Pioneering Treatments
  • Siteman earns prestigious merit extension from National Cancer Institute

    Siteman Cancer Center, based at Barnes-Jewish Hospital and Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis, has earned a prestigious Merit Extension Award from the National Cancer Institute (NCI), part of the National Institutes of Health (NIH). The award extends Siteman’s current Cancer Center Support Grant for an additional two years and provides $12 million to continue NCI support for innovative cancer research, training, prevention and community outreach programs. WU Record 8/10/23

  • Investigational drug may improve stem cell transplantation for multiple myeloma

    Treatment for patients with multiple myeloma often includes stem cell transplantation in which the patient’s own stem cells are harvested and then infused after the patient receives intensive chemotherapy. Often the number of stem cells that can be harvested is not optimal for transplant. An international group led by Zachary Crees and John DiPersio found that addition of the investigational drug motixafortide to the standard regimen for mobilizing stem cells significantly increases the number of stem cells harvested. If approved by regulatory agencies, the combination of drugs could improve the stem cell transplantation process for multiple myeloma patients. WU Record 4/17/23 | Nat Med 2023 Apr 17

  • Dan Link named Chief of the Division of Oncology

    Daniel C. Link, MD,has been named the new Chief of the Division of Oncology in the Department of Medicine and Deputy Director of the Siteman Cancer Center effective December 1, 2022. Dr. Link is the Alan A. and Edith L. Wolff Distinguished Professor of Medicine and Professor of Pathology and Immunology at Washington University School of Medicine. His research over the past 25 years has focused on characterizing mechanisms regulating normal and malignant hematopoiesis. He will succeed John F. DiPersio, MD, PhD, who joined the Washington University faculty in 1994 and became Chief of the Division of Oncology in 2000. Department of Medicine Announcement

  • Oncology floors recognized for sustainability efforts

    Both Oncology floors in the Mid Campus Center participate in the Green Office Program, which aims to encourage offices across all WashU campuses to be champions of our university’s sustainability ethic. Participation is initiated through a point-based, self-assessment checklist with which offices can evaluate their current practices, set goals, and be recognized for their sustainable practices. 10 MCC and 11 MCC are each certified as a Gold level Green Office.

  • Simple blood test predicts neurotoxic complications of CAR-T cell therapy

    A new study suggests a simple blood test may identify which patients are predisposed to developing neurotoxic side effects in the days and weeks after CAR-T cell therapy. Analyzing blood samples from patients before, during and after CAR-T cell therapy, Omar Butt and colleagues found that levels of a protein called neurofilament light chain (NfL) are higher in patients who go on to develop neurotoxic complications. WU Record 9/1/22 | JAMA Oncol 2022 Sep 1

  • Study offers insights into how pancreatic cancer develops

    A detailed analysis of pancreatic cancer has revealed details of two key transition points in the development of these tumors — the shift from normal cells to precancerous cells, and the change from precancerous to cancerous cells. Understanding these transitions will help lead to the development of novel therapies. The study, led by David DeNardo and Li Ding also provides insights into treatment resistance and how immunotherapy could be harnessed to treat this aggressive tumor type. WU Record 8/22/22 | Nat Genet 2022 Aug 22

  • ASH awards Tim Ley the 2022 Henry Stratton Medal

    Timothy J. Ley, MD, the Lewis T. and Rosalind B. Apple Professor of Medicine, has been honored by the American Society of Hematology with the Henry Stratton Medal, awarded annually to one basic scientist and one clinical or translational researcher who have made outstanding contributions to hematology. He is being recognized for leading the effort to sequence the first human cancer genomes, from patients with acute myeloid leukemia (AML). These studies helped to create a foundation for the Cancer Genome Atlas, elucidated many previously unknown drivers of AML, and defined the role of clonal heterogeneity in AML progression and relapse.

  • $5.3 million grant supports research into lung cancer recurrence

    A grant from the National Cancer Institute will support a new research center led by Washington University (Ramaswamy Govindan, PI) and collaborators at the Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard. By taking a deep dive into the genomics and proteomics of lung cancer patients participating in clinical trials, the investigators will seek patterns emerging at the gene and protein levels that could flag a tumor as being likely to return after surgery or chemotherapy. WU Record 6/28/22

  • Immunity-boosting treatment enhances CAR-T cell therapy for blood cancers

    Advances in cellular immunotherapy that spur genetically modified T cells (CAR-T cells) to attack cancer cells have revolutionized the treatment of certain blood cancers. A new study in mice led by Miriam Kim and John DiPersio shows that additional treatment with an immunity-boosting protein called interleukin 7 (IL-7) causes the cancer-fighting CAR-T cells to grow in number and become more effective at killing tumor cells. A phase 1 clinical trial at Siteman Cancer Center is underway to investigate a long-acting form of IL-7 in conjunction with CAR-T cells in patients with diffuse large B cell lymphoma. WU Record 6/13/22 | Nat Commun 2022 Jun 13

  • Investigational drug attacks synovial sarcoma, a rare type of tumor

    Synovial sarcoma is rare, with 900 to 1,000 new cases diagnosed annually, and is most typically diagnosed during adolescence and into young and middle adulthood. Brian Van Tine and his colleagues have developed a way to attack this tumor using an investigational drug that triggers cell death. The drug was developed by Washington University researchers who are planning a phase 1 clinical trial to investigate its safety and effectiveness in patients who have synovial sarcoma that has spread beyond the original tumor site. WU Record 5/31/22 | Clin Cancer Res 2022 Apr 14

  • Novel treatment makes pancreatic cancer susceptible to immunotherapy

    A recent study led by Kian-Huat Lim suggests that blocking IRAK4, a major inflammatory pathway that is activated in pancreatic cancer, makes the tumors sensitive to chemotherapy and a type of immunotherapy that prompts the immune system’s T cells to attack the cancer cells. The therapy more than doubled survival in a mouse model of pancreatic cancer. Haeseong Park is the principal investigator of a new clinical trial of the IRAK4 inhibitor in patients with pancreatic cancer. WU Record 3/7/22 | Gastroenterology 2022 Mar 7

  • Boosting T cells improves survival in mice with glioblastoma

    Glioblastoma, an aggressive cancer in the brain or spinal cord, has proven stubbornly resistant to radiation, chemotherapy, and newer immunotherapies, with fewer than 10% of patients surviving longer than five years after diagnosis. A new study conducted by Jian Campian, Milan Chheda and colleagues shows that treatment with the immune-boosting protein interleukin 7 (IL-7) in combination with radiation improves survival in mice with glioblastoma. The new mouse study shows that IL-7 increases the number of T cells in the tumor and other immune organs, which then attack the cancer cells and improve survival. WU Record 1/14/22 | Clin Cancer Res 2022 Jan 14

  • Drug makes pancreatic cancer cells more vulnerable

    An aggressive chemotherapy regimen is the first-line treatment for pancreatic cancer, but the side effects can be severe, and many tumors stop responding to treatment. Now, Patrick Grierson and Kian-Huat Lim have identified an anti-inflammatory drug, ATI-450, that makes pancreatic cancer cells more vulnerable to chemotherapy. Studying mice, they found that the drug also may reduce some of the damaging side effects of the chemotherapy cocktail FOLFIRINOX (a combination of folinic acid, 5-fluorouracil, irinotecan and oxaliplatin), commonly used to treat pancreatic cancer. WU Record 12/1/21 | Sci Transl Med 2021 Dec

  • New technique may lead to safer stem cell transplants

    John DiPersio and colleagues have developed a method of stem cell transplantation in mice that does not require radiation or chemotherapy. Their strategy combines the targeted elimination of blood-forming stem cells in the bone marrow with immune-modulating drugs to prevent the immune system from rejecting the new donor stem cells. With the new technique, mice underwent successful stem cell transplants from unrelated mice without evidence of dangerously low blood cell counts that are a hallmark of the traditional procedure. WU Record 11/10/21 | J Clin Invest 2021 Nov 2

  • $7.5 million to study elusive cell type important in aging, cancer, other diseases

    Washington University is joining a new NIH research network focused on the study of senescent cells, a rare population of cells that are vital for understanding diseases of aging, including cancer and neurodegeneration. The Washington University Senescence Tissue Mapping Center, led by principal investigator Li Ding will map out senescent cells in bone marrow and liver samples in an effort to understand their spatial distribution and molecular signature in different tissue environments and at different ages. WU Record 10/20/21

  • African American cancer patients less likely to receive genetic counseling

    Foluso Ademuyiwa and her colleagues have surveyed oncologists to identify differences in physician attitudes that may contribute to a gap in referrals to genetic counseling and testing between Black women and white women with breast cancer. Based on the results of the survey, the investigators are launching a pilot study in which facilitators will be matched with patients of the same race to perform in-person genetic screens. WU Record 10/18/21 | J Clin Oncol 2021 Oct 18

  • Most cases of never-smokers’ lung cancer treatable with mutation-targeting drugs

    About 78-92% of lung cancers in patients who have never smoked can be treated with precision drugs already approved by the Food and Drug Administration to target specific mutations in a patient’s tumor. Siddhartha Devarakonda, Ramaswamy Govindan, and their colleagues found that most never-smokers’ lung tumors had so-called driver mutations, specific mistakes in the DNA that fuel tumor growth and that can be blocked with a variety of drugs. WU Record 9/30/21 | J Clin Oncol 2021 Sep 30

  • Liquid biopsies may aid diagnosis, treatment of bladder, nerve tumors

    Analysis of DNA in blood and urine (liquid biopsy) could lead to faster and less invasive methods to diagnose and monitor various types of tumors. Two studies co-authored by Vivek Arora and Angela Hirbe describe the potential of liquid biopsies to identify and track tumor growth in two very different cancers: bladder cancer and peripheral nerve sheath tumors. Both studies appear in the August 31 issue of PLOS Medicine, which is a special issue of the journal dedicated to liquid biopsies. WU Record 8/31/21 | Article 1 | Article 2

  • Siteman Cancer Center plans for 9-story outpatient facility on Medical Campus

    Siteman Cancer Center at Barnes-Jewish Hospital and Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis is planning a new, nine-story facility on the Washington University Medical Campus dedicated solely to outpatient cancer care. The facility will provide a central home for nearly all aspects of advanced cancer care for outpatients, improving the experience and comfort for patients and their families. WU Record 7/30/21

  • Cell-based immunotherapy shows promise against melanoma

    An immunotherapy based on supercharging the immune system’s natural killer cells has been effective in treating patients with recurrent leukemia and other difficult to treat blood cancers. Now, a team led by Todd Fehniger has shown in preclinical studies conducted in mice and human cells that this type of cell-based immunotherapy also could be effective against solid tumors, starting with melanoma, a type of skin cancer that can be deadly if not caught early. WU Record 6/29/21 | Clin Cancer Res 2021 Jun 29

  • Newly approved drug effective against lung cancer caused by genetic mutation

    The new drug sotorasib reduces tumor size and shows promise in improving survival among patients with lung tumors caused by a specific DNA mutation in the KRAS gene, according to results of a global phase 2 clinical trial. The drug is designed to shut down the effects of the mutation, which is found in about 13% of patients with lung adenocarcinoma, a common type of non-small-cell lung cancer. WU Record 6/4/21 | NEJM 2021 Jun 4

  • Zika virus helps destroy deadly brain cancer in mice

    The Zika virus that ravaged the Americas, leaving many babies with permanent brain damage, may have a silver lining, according to a study published by Milan Chheda and colleagues. The virus can activate immune cells to destroy glioblastoma cancer cells in mice, giving a powerful boost to an immunotherapy drug (anti-PD-1 antibody) and sparking long-lasting immunological memory that can ward off tumor recurrence for at least 18 months. WU Record 3/24/21 | JCI Insight 2021 Jan 11

  • Promising role for whole genome sequencing in guiding blood cancer treatment

    A new study led by David Spencer suggests whole genome sequencing is a reliable and practical approach for detecting all of the changes that are important for assessing the risk of relapse for AML and MDS patients. This approach can be performed when conventional testing methods are unsuccessful and also could be applied to other cancers, including solid tumors. The cost of genome sequencing technology recently reached a level similar to that of conventional testing, and results can be returned to patients in just a few days WU Record 3/10/21 | NEJM 2021 Mar 11

  • Aggressive brain tumor mapped in genetic, molecular detail

    Glioblastoma is among the most aggressive and devastating of cancers. In a study led by Li Ding, members of the National Cancer Institute’s Clinical Proteomic Tumor Analysis Consortium performed high-resolution and high-depth analyses on 99 glioblastoma tumors. Harnessing new technologies, including proteomics, metabolomics and single cell sequencing, this study is an extremely deep dive into glioblastoma tumor biology, revealing new possibilities for therapy. WU Record 2/11/21 | Cancer Cell 2021 Feb 2

  • Nixing bone cancer fuel supply offers new treatment approach

    An innovative approach to treating bone tumors — starving cancer cells of the energy they need to grow — could one day provide an alternative to a commonly used chemotherapy drug without the risk of severe side effects. Studying human cancer cells and mice, Brian Van Tine and associates found that a two-drug combination targeting a tumor’s energy sources could be as effective and less toxic than methotrexate to treat osteosarcoma. WU Record 1/26/21 | Cell Reports 2021 Jan 26

  • GI tract may be vulnerable to COVID-19 infection

    Research published by Ramon Jin, a clinical fellow in the Division of Medical Oncology, and co-workers in Jason Mills's laboratory suggests that people with Barrett’s esophagus (a major risk factor for cancer of the esophagus) may be vulnerable to infection after swallowing the virus that causes COVID-19. They analyzed tissue from 30 patients with Barrett’s esophagus and found that cells in the tissue samples all had receptors for the SARS-CoV-2 virus, which normal esophagus cells lack. WU Record 1/20/21 | Gastroenterology 2021 Jan 20

  • New discovery could help improve cancer vaccines

    Jeff Ward and Chris Miller are members of a global consortium that has identified features of tumor neoantigens that trigger T cells to attack the cancer and leave healthy tissue untouched. They used computer modeling to accurately predict 75% of effective neoantigens and eliminate 98% of ineffective mutant proteins in melanoma and a common type of lung cancer. The results will help researchers design better immunotherapies against cancer. WU Record 10/9/20 | Cell 2020 Oct 2

  • Siteman Cancer Center earns highest federal rating

    Siteman Cancer Center at Barnes-Jewish Hospital and Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis has been recognized once again as a top U.S. cancer institution, based on a review of its research programs. This evaluation resulted in a nearly perfect score, earning Siteman the highest possible rating — exceptional — by the National Cancer Institute (NCI), part of the National Institutes of Health (NIH). WU Record 7/10/20

  • Walter named Edward P. Evans Endowed Professor

    Matthew J. Walter, MD, has been named the inaugural Edward P. Evans Endowed Professor at Washington University School of Medicine. Walter, an international leader in the study and treatment of myelodysplastic syndromes (MDS), a group of rare blood disorders that prevents the body from making sufficient healthy blood cells, is a professor of medicine and director of the Edward P. Evans Center for Myelodysplastic Syndromes at the School of Medicine. WU Record 1/17/20

  • $3.7 million supports crowdsourced database of cancer genomics

    Washington University has received a $3.7 million grant from the National Institutes of Health to support an open-source database aimed at boosting personalized approaches to cancer treatment. The database, called CIViC, was designed by computational biologists Obi Griffith and Malachi Griffith. Its purpose is to help doctors match cancer mutations found in patients’ tumors with drugs that target such genetic errors. WU Record 10/15/19

  • Cause of rare, fatal disorder in young children pinpointed

    Mark Sands and his colleagues have discovered the precise biochemical pathway leading to Krabbe disease, a fatal genetic disorder in children that results in seizures, developmental regression and death, usually around age 3. Studying a mouse model, they also identified a possible therapeutic strategy for this disease. WU Record 9/16/19 | PNAS 2019 Sep 16

  • $5 million grant endows research on myelodysplastic syndrome

    Washington University has received a $5 million grant to establish the Edward P. Evans Myelodysplastic Syndromes Center led by oncologist Matthew Walter. A major goal of the center is to launch a clinic that will follow healthy individuals with normal blood counts and mutations in key genes that are linked to MDS. By studying this group of patients, the investigators hope to understand the differences between those patients who go on to develop MDS and those who don’t. WU Record 9/11/19

  • $15 million supports quest for personalized leukemia therapies

    A team of Washington University investigators led by Tim Ley have been awarded a $15 million NIH grant to better understand the genetic changes that drive acute myeloid leukemia and predict patients’ responses to therapy. The findings may enable development of more effective therapies tailored to patients, based on the genetic characteristics of their cancer cells. WU Record 8/21/19

  • Fighting pancreatic cancer with immunotherapy

    In collaboration with investigators at Rush University in Chicago, David DeNardo and colleagues have found a chemical compound that promotes a vigorous immune assault against pancreatic cancer in mice. Alone, the compound reduces pancreatic tumor growth and metastases. But when combined with immunotherapy, the compound significantly shrank tumors and dramatically improved survival in the animals. WU Record 7/3/19 | Science Translational Medicine 2019 Jul 3

  • Tim Ley elected to National Academy of Sciences

    Tim Ley led the team that first sequenced a cancer genome, identifying mutations in DNA that lead to cancer growth. His research has laid the groundwork for precision medicine in cancer treatment, which uses the genetic makeup of a patient’s tumor and how it responds to therapy as a guide for how best to attack that specific patient’s disease. WU Record 4/30/19

  • $9 million supports deep dive into breast, pancreatic cancers

    Washington University School of Medicine has received a $9 million grant from the National Institutes of Health to study the life histories of breast and pancreatic cancers. Led by Li Ding and colleagues in the Departments of Surgery and Radiology, the research will focus on how breast cancer evolves in response to treatments and how some tumors develop resistance to these treatments. A second project will focus on how pancreatic cancer spreads, or metastasizes, and develops resistance to standard treatments. WU Record 1/9/19

  • $20 million gift from Paula C. and Rodger O. Riney boosts multiple myeloma research

    Their gift establishes the Paula C. and Rodger O. Riney Blood Cancer Research Initiative Fund to develop promising new treatments for multiple myeloma. The work will be carried out by a research team of physicians and scientists at the Alvin J. Siteman Cancer Center and Washington University School of Medicine with broad expertise in multiple myeloma, genomics, immunology and immunotherapy, imaging and pharmacogenomics. WU Record 11/29/18

  • $11.5 million supports innovation in leukemia research

    Extending its standing as one of the top leukemia programs in the United States, Washington University School of Medicine has been awarded an $11.5 million grant to further high-level investigations into leukemia and related blood cancers. The grant, from the National Institutes of Health (NIH), funds a prestigious Specialized Program in Research Excellence (SPORE) in leukemia. The Washington University SPORE, led by Dan Link is one of only three academic centers in the U.S. to receive this grant. WU Record 11/6/18

  • Relapsed leukemia flies under immune system's radar

    A study led by Matthew Christopher, Allegra Petti, Michael Rettig and Timothy Ley offers a potential explanation for why many AML patients experience a relapse after a stem cell transplant and suggests a therapeutic approach that may help to place relapsed patients back into remission. The investigators found that leukemia cells from patients who relapsed after transplant often had greatly reduced expression of genes that were involved with the recognition of cancer cells by the immune system and that interferon gamma could restore expression of these genes. WU Record 10/31/18

  • New clues found to understanding relapse in breast cancer

    A large genomic analysis led by Obi Griffith in the Division of Oncology and The McDonnell Genome Institute has linked certain DNA mutations to a high risk of relapse in estrogen receptor positive breast cancer. The knowledge could help guide treatment decisions. Nature Communications 2018 Sep 4 | WU Record 9/14/18

  • Analysis of prostate tumors reveals clues to cancer’s aggressiveness

    Using genetic sequencing, scientists have revealed the complete DNA makeup of more than 100 aggressive prostate tumors, pinpointing important genetic errors these deadly tumors have in common. The study lays the foundation for finding new ways to treat prostate cancer, particularly for the most aggressive forms of the disease. The multicenter study was led by co-senior author Chris Maher of the Oncology Division and investigators at the University of California, San Francisco.
    Cell 2018 Jul 19 | WU Record 7/19/18

  • $5 million supports innovative breast cancer trial

    Ron Bose and Cynthia Ma have received a $5 million grant from the Department of Defense to support their research on HER2-positive breast cancer. The grant will fund a clinical trial of the HER2 inhibitor neratinib in combination with fulvestrant in patients with metastatic breast tumors that have HER2 mutations and are estrogen-receptor positive. To understand how patients respond to these drugs, the researchers will implant the patients’ tumors into mice that then will receive the same treatment regimen. Genome sequencing and protein analysis of the tumors will be performed to seek clues to how some of them develop drug resistance. WU Record 5/10/18

  • Experimental arthritis drug prevents stem cell transplant complication

    An investigational drug in clinical trials for rheumatoid arthritis prevents a common, life-threatening side effect of stem cell transplants, new research from Jaebok Choi, John DiPersio and colleagues. Studying mice, the researchers found the drug prevented graft-versus-host disease, a debilitating, sometimes lethal condition that develops when transplanted stem cells attack the body’s own organs or tissues. Leukemia 2018 Apr 2 | WU Record 4/24/18

  • Major milestone reached in effort to identify the genetic roots of cancer

    Researchers nationwide have reached a major milestone in describing the genetic landscape of cancer. Li Ding, assistant director of The McDonnell Genome Institute at Washington University, and scientists from about 20 other institutions have completed the genetic analyses of more than 11,000 tumors from patients, spanning 33 types of cancer - all part of The Cancer Genome Atlas (TCGA) project. Altogether, they identified about 300 genes that drive tumor growth. Remarkably, just over half of all tumors analyzed carry genetic mutations that could be targeted by therapies already approved for use in patients. Their findings are reported in six papers published April 5 in the journals Cell, Cell Reports and Cell Systems. WU Record 4/5/18

  • Zika virus kills brain cancer stem cells

    While Zika virus causes devastating damage to the brains of developing fetuses, it one day may be an effective treatment for glioblastoma, a deadly form of brain cancer. New research from the labs of Milan Chheda and Michael Diamond at Washington University and Jeremy Rich at UC San Diego shows that the virus kills brain cancer stem cells, the kind of cells most resistant to standard treatments. Journal of Experimental Medicine 2017 Sep 5 | WU Record 9/5/17 | Outlook Magazine winter 2017/18

  • John DiPersio receives NCI outstanding investigator award

    John DiPersio, Chief of the Division of Oncology, has received a $6 million outstanding investigator award from the National Cancer Institute (NCI) of the National Institutes of Health (NIH) to support research aimed at improving therapies for leukemia. WU Record 11/6/17

  • New gene-altering treatment offered for certain blood cancers

    Siteman Cancer Center at Barnes-Jewish Hospital and Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis is one of the first centers nationwide to offer a new immunotherapy that targets certain blood cancers. Newly approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for types of advanced non-Hodgkin lymphoma in adults, the CAR-T cell therapy harnesses a patient’s own immune system to fight cancer. WU Record 10/18/17 | Center for Gene & Cellular Immunotherapy

  • Chemo-loaded nanoparticles target breast cancer that has spread to bone

    Seeking new treatments for metastatic breast cancer, Kathy Weilbaecher and colleagues have designed nanoparticles that carry chemotherapy and are targeted directly to tumors that have spread to bone. The strategy, developed in mouse studies, lets chemotherapy penetrate the protective environment of bone and minimizes toxic side effects. Cancer Research 2017 Aug 30 | WU Record 9/25/17

  • Rogue breast tumor proteins point to potential drug therapies

    Studying mice with breast tumors transplanted from patients, a group at Washington University led by Li Ding, in collaboration with colleagues at The Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard and Baylor College of Medicine, have analyzed the proteins present in these tumors. The researchers demonstrated that some protein alterations can be used to identify drugs that may work against some cancers. Nature Communications 2017 Mar 28 | WU Record 3/28/17

  • Online database aims to collect, organize research on cancer mutations

    A group led by Obi and Malachi Griffith has developed an online "knowledgebase" to gather and organize information on cancer genomics, providing an educational forum for dissemination of information and discussion of the clinical significance of cancer genome alterations. The online resource, called CIViC, for Clinical Interpretations of Variants in Cancer, is open to anyone who wants to contribute or make use of the information. Submissions are curated by editors and moderators who are experts in the field. Nature Genetics 2017 Jan 31 | WU Record 1/30/17

  • Study unveils new way to starve tumors to death

    Many sarcomas lack an enzyme required for production of arginine, an essential component of most proteins, but attempts to kill the tumor cells by starving them of this nutrient have been unsuccessful. After analyzing the complex metabolism of these tumors, Brian Van Tine, Jason Held, and co-workers discovered that adding a glutamine inhibitor to an arginine-depleting drug killed the cells and caused tumor regression in mice. These results form the basis of a planned clinical trial in patients with sarcomas. Cell Reports 2017 Jan 24 | WU Record 1/24/17

  • New immunotherapy for leukemia shows promise in small clinical trial

    A new type of immunotherapy shows promise against cases of acute myeloid leukemia (AML) that recur after treatment or that never respond to therapy in the first place. A small clinical trial conducted by Rizwan Romee and Todd Fehniger provides evidence that the immune system’s "natural killer" cells can be dialed up in the laboratory, trained to recall that activation and then effectively unleashed to destroy cancer cells in some patients. Science Translational Medicine 2016 Sep 21 | WU Record 9/21/16

  • Study finds marker of aggressive prostate cancer

    The level of an RNA molecule (PCAT-14) expressed in prostate tumors is an indicator of whether the cancer is likely to spread, according to research published by Chris Maher and colleagues. Down-regulation of PCAT-14 is associated with a greater probability of metastatic progression, and this finding may help to determine the intensity of therapy in individual patients. European Urology 2016 Jul 22 | WU Record 8/2/16

  • Study seeks clues to breast cancer outcomes in African-American women

    Foluso Ademuyiwa and her colleague Laura Beirut (Department of Psychiatry) are launching a major study in African-American women with breast cancer to learn whether their genetic risks are influenced by the same mutations that affect white women or are altogether different mutations. Such information may lead to new ways to prevent or treat breast cancer in African-American women. WU Record 7/29/16

  • Immune-based therapy in mice shows promise against pancreatic cancer

    David DeNardo, Andrea Wang-Gillam and their colleagues have shown that immunotherapy against pancreatic cancer can be effective when given in conjunction with focal adhesion kinase (FAK) inhibitors, drugs that break up the fibrous tissue in these tumors. A phase 1 clinical trial to test the safety of FAK inhibitors in patients with advanced pancreatic cancer is underway. Nature Medicine 2016 Jul 4 | WU Record 7/5/16

  • Probing proteins' 3-D structures suggests existing drugs may work for many cancers

    Examining databases of proteins’ 3-D shapes, a group led by Li Ding has identified more than 850 DNA mutations that appear to be linked to cancer. The information may expand the number of cancer patients who can benefit from existing drugs. Nature Genetics 2016 Jun 13 | WU Record 6/13/16

  • Tim Ley to receive the 2016 Carl and Gerty Cori Faculty Achievement Award

    Tim Ley is being recognized for his pioneering research in cancer genomics. His studies have laid the groundwork for precision medicine in cancer, which targets treatment to a patient based on the genetic makeup of a tumor and how it responds to therapy. WU Record 5/18/16

  • Govindan named Anheuser-Busch Endowed Chair in Medical Oncology

    Ramaswamy Govindan has been named the Anheuser-Busch Endowed Chair in Medical Oncology. The Anheuser-Busch Foundation established the endowed chair in 2001. Govindan was honored for his innovative research, including in genomics, aimed at developing better lung cancer therapies and improving patient outcomes. WU Record 2/17/16

  • Study uncovers hard-to-detect cancer mutations

    Li Ding and co-workers developed a software tool for finding a certain type of genetic error that has been consistently missed by cancer genome studies. These "complex indels" appear to cluster in important cancer genes more often than can be attributed to random chance. Patients may benefit when indels are found in genes that already have drugs designed to counter the effects of mutation. Nature Medicine 2016 | WU Record 1/5/16

All publications since July, 2023
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2022 Léopold Griffuel Prize
Awarded to Timothy Ley

Tim Ley