July 2015 — Head and Neck Cancer Patients Receive Cutting-Edge Immunotherapies through UPCI Clinical Trials
Multi-disciplinary clinicians and researchers at UPCI and UPMC CancerCenter are utilizing the power of the body's immune system to fight tumors of the head and neck. Watch Robert L. Ferris, MD, PhD and Julie E. Bauman, MD, MPH discuss one patient's story below.
June 2015 — UPCI's Pittsburgh Genome Resource Repository (PGRR) Offers a Powerful Tool for Cancer Researchers
Publically available genomic datasets, such as The Cancer Genome Atlas (TCGA) of the National Cancer Institute (NCI), are highly informative and can be used for numerous research purposes including discovery of new biomarkers, validation of new methods, and development of new therapeutic approaches for precision cancer medicine. The Pittsburgh Genome Resource Repository (PGRR) is an invaluable tool that offers UPCI investigators a mechanism for accessing and analyzing TCGA datasets from a virtualized central location using common tools and platforms, providing data management and computing infrastructure to support biomedical investigation using this “big data.”
The PGRR was developed through a collaboration between experts from the University of Pittsburgh Cancer Institute (UPCI), the University of Pittsburgh Institute for Personalized Medicine (IPM), the University of Pittsburgh Department of Biomedical Informatics (DBMI), the University of Pittsburgh Center for Simulation and Modeling (SaM), the Pittsburgh Supercomputing Center (PSC), and UPMC.
Watch Rebecca Jacobson, MD, MS, Professor of Biomedical Informatics and Chief Information Officer of the IPM, and William LaFramboise, PhD, Associate Professor of Pathology and Director of the UPCI Cancer Genomics Facility, discuss the PGRR and several examples of functional applications in cancer research.
May 2015 — Autophagy Inhibition as a Novel Treatment Strategy for Pancreatic Cancer
Autophagy is a programmed cell survival mechanism that plays a critical role in pancreatic cancer development and resistance to chemotherapy. In preclinical studies, Herbert Zeh III, MD, Chief of the Division of GI Surgical Oncology, and colleagues have shown that pancreatic cancer is extremely dependent on autophagy for survival, and that drugs that block autophagy increase the sensitivity of pancreatic cancer cells to chemotherapy. Dr. Zeh's research team is currently examining the promising clinical use of the autophagy inhibitor hydroxychloroquine, best known for its activity as an anti-malarial drug, in combination with chemotherapy for the treatment of pancreatic cancer.
Watch Dr. Zeh discuss recent advances in these clinical studies.