Genentech BioOncology continues to identify and investigate new approaches to targeting the hallmarks of cancer. Through our current research focus on angiogenesis, HER signaling, apoptosis, B-cell signaling, and cellular differentiation, we approach cancer research from multiple angles, helping us to elucidate the complexity of carcinogenesis and to develop targeted therapies that will address the unmet needs in cancer treatment and positively impact the lives of patients.

 This figure was adapted from Cell, Vol 100, Hanahan and Weinberg, The Hallmarks of Cancer, pp 57-70, Copyright Elsevier (2000).

by Rebecca Ruiz-McGill

Two University of Arizona researchers have formed a research team to design, build and evaluate two versions of an ovarian cancer medical imaging and screening instrument that will use holographic components in a new type of optical microscope.

Raymond Kostuk and Jennifer Barton have secured a five-year, $2.4 million grant from the National Institutes of Health to build the instrument that they hope will one day be used to monitor women at high risk for ovarian cancer.  Kostuk is the Kenneth Von Behren Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering and professor of optical sciences.

Groundbreaking study by researchers at University of Maryland Greenebaum Cancer seeks to explain major disparity in survival between blacks and whites

Researchers at the University of Maryland Marlene and Stewart Greenebaum Cancer have found that head and neck cancer patients who test positive for the human papillomavirus (HPV) have much better survival rates than patients who don’t have the virus, according to a new study in the journal Cancer Prevention Research. The researchers also discovered that blacks in the study had a very low rate of HPV infection, and consequently worse survival, which may explain why African-American patients traditionally have had a poor prognosis for head and neck cancer.

wolf reikby Monya Baker

The Babraham Institute researcher discusses ELF5, needed technological advancements and the next steps for his research

Wolf Reik studies at the Babraham Institute at the University of Cambridge. In a recent review,1 he and colleagues discussed how pivotal epigenetic regulators nudge cells into lineage decisions. Nature Reports Stem Cells talked to him about his work and philosophy as a scientist.

 

alberto kornblihttUltraviolet radiation from the sun can zap DNA, damage cells, and set the stage for the subsequent development of cancer. Scientists have now identified the built-in safety mechanism that forces some cells damaged by UV radiation to commit suicide so they do not perpetuate harmful mutations.

Alberto R. Kornblihtt, a Howard Hughes Medical Institute international research scholar at the University of Buenos Aires and the National Research Council of Argentina, has found that UV radiation causes human cells to create proteins that trigger cell death. It’s a built-in safety pathway whose precise mechanism had never been seen before.

by Simone Alves

Regulation is controlled by PTEN, PI3K/Akt and drug-effluxing ABCG2

Some chemotherapeutics used to target gliomas may actually increase the cancer stem cell population and make tumours more aggressive.

Working in mice genetically engineered to have gliomas, Eric Holland and his team at the Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center in New York showed that a previously identified population of brain cells known as the side population is more tumorigenic than other cells in the brain. The proportion of cells belonging to the side population (SP) was also several-fold larger in glioma-susceptible mice compared to normal mice, and this population increased in the absence of the tumour suppressor gene PTEN. SP cells from gliomas were able to generate neurospheres in vitro, suggesting that this population can harbour brain cancer stem cells.

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