April 2015 — Broccoli Sprout Extract Promising for Head and Neck Cancer Prevention
A new study led by UPCI head and neck cancer researchers has shown that broccoli sprout extract protects against oral cancer in mice and proved tolerable in a small group of healthy human volunteers. The promising results of this research, a collaboration between Julie Bauman, MD, MPH and Daniel Johnson, PhD, will be further explored in a human clinical trial, which will recruit participants at high risk for head and neck cancer recurrence later this year. This research is funded through UPCI's Specialized Program of Research Excellence (SPORE) grant in head and neck cancer from the National Cancer Institute.
For more information, read the press release and watch Dr. Bauman discuss these findings.
March 2015 — UPCI Researchers Target Viruses that Cause Cancer
Of the many viruses that infect humans, only seven have been shown to cause cancer to date. Two of these known cancer-causing viruses, Kaposi's sarcoma herpesvirus (KSHV) and Merkel cell polyomavirus (MCV), were discovered by Patrick Moore, MD, MPH, and Yuan Chang, MD of the UPCI Cancer Virology Program. The Chang-Moore team developed a new technology for identifying human cancer viruses, called digital transcriptome subtraction, or DTS. Through the discovery of novel cancer viruses, and detailed investigation into their biology and mechanisms of action, the research team aims to develop effective targeted therapies for patients with virus-related cancers.
Watch Drs. Moore and Chang discuss their important work in the video below.
Video courtesy of the Carnegie Science Awards
February 2015 — UPCI's Tumor Microenvironment Center (TMC) Bridges Multiple Disciplines to Study External Influences on Tumors
Tumors do not grow in isolation, but are influenced by many surrounding factors in their environment. The Tumor Microenvironment Center (TMC) is a collaborative, multi-disciplinary effort that brings together preclinical and clinical scientists with the goal of translating basic knowledge of the mechanisms of interaction between cancer cells and their microenvironment, to enhance and accelerate direct patient-oriented interventions. Included in the microenvironment are the immune, inflammatory, and patient-specific factors that regulate cancer development, progression, and response to anti-cancer treatments. Watch TMC Co-Directors Dr. Robert Ferris (Professor of Otolaryngology, Immunology, and Radiation Oncology; Chief of Head and Neck Surgery; UPMC Chair in Advanced Oncologic Head and Neck Surgery; Co-Leader of the UPCI Cancer Immunology Program; UPCI Associate Director for Translational Research) and Dr. Dario Vignali (Vice Chair and Professor of Immunology; Co-Leader of the UPCI Cancer Immunology Program) discuss the TMC and its goal to provide more personalized and effective treatments for cancer patients.