UNC experts discover colorectal cancer biomarker, potential personalized treatment

March 10, 2016

In the journal Cell Reports, UNC Lineberger researchers reported they found markedly low levels of the protein NLRX1 in multiple laboratory models of colorectal cancer, and in samples of human tissue. Studies have shown that the protein is known to be involved in regulating immune system signals in order to prevent hyperactive inflammatory responses by the immune system, but UNC Lineberger researchers believe their finding also points to a role for the protein in preventing colorectal cancer growth. Based on their findings, they believe they’ve identified a potential treatment for colorectal cancer with low NLRX1.

Online e-cigarette searches number in the millions, but few focus on vaping health risk or quitting smoking

February 19, 2016

A study published recently in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine found that Google searches about electronic cigarettes were more commonly related to shopping for e-cigarettes, while quitting smoking represented less than 1 percent of e-cigarette searches in each of 2013 and in 2014. The study’s senior author was Rebecca S. Williams, MHS, PhD, a UNC Lineberger member.

Study finds different genetic mutation patterns for HPV-positive throat cancer patients based on smoking history

February 18, 2016

Researchers at UNC Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center have presented preliminary findings from a study examining the genetic alterations in HPV-positive oropharyngeal squamous cell carcinoma, a cancer of the head and neck. The researchers found differences in the genetic mutations of HPV-positive oropharyngeal cancer based on whether patients were heavy versus light smokers.

Low-risk prostate cancer best managed with active surveillance

February 17, 2016

UNC Lineberger researcher Dr. Ronald C. Chen was first-author of a report published in the Journal of Clinical Oncology that details guidelines for the active surveillance of men with low-risk prostate cancer. The guidelines, originally authored by Cancer Care Ontario, were reviewed and endorsed by the American Society of Clinical Oncology.

UNC experts talk ‘Cancer Moonshot’ with Vice President Biden

February 12, 2016

As part of the “Cancer Moonshot” federal initiative to spur breakthroughs in cancer research, Biden hosted a roundtable discussion on Wednesday at the Duke University School of Medicine that featured cancer experts and leaders from UNC. Among the experts chosen for the panel were Stephanie Wheeler, PhD, UNC Lineberger member and assistant professor of health policy and management at the UNC Gillings School of Global Public Health and Niklaus Steiner, UNC-Chapel Hill professor and co-founder of the Chapel Hill-based Be Loud! Sophie Foundation, which supports adolescents and young adults with cancer.

Advances in melanoma treatment focus of UNC conference

February 12, 2016

At the 10th Annual UNC Conference on Melanoma and Complex Skin Cancers: A Multidisciplinary Perspective, experts in melanoma treatment presented advances in treating the disease on Thursday. The conference, held at the William and Ida Friday Center for Continuing Education, drew dermatologists, surgeons, medical oncologists and other health care providers to hear presentations on topics ranging from immunotherapy drugs and targeted treatments for metastatic disease, radiation strategies, and chemotherapy to prevent skin cancer.

Device hits pancreatic tumors hard with toxic four-drug cocktail, sparing the body

February 8, 2016

A new implantable device delivers first-line treatment for pancreatic cancer directly to tumors, bypassing bloodstream and limiting widespread side effects. A team of researchers from the University of North Carolina including Drs. Jen Jen Yeh and Joseph DeSimone, has shown in preclinical research that the device can deliver a particularly toxic dose of drugs directly to pancreatic tumors to stunt their growth or, in some cases, shrink them. This approach would also spare the patient toxic side effects.