Zika, emerging viruses focus of UNC virology seminar

February 2, 2016

Zika, the virus currently causing worldwide concern due to its alarming connection to a neurological birth disorder, was discussed as part of a presentation on emerging infectious diseases for the UNC Lineberger-led seminar series titled “Virology in Progress.” Helen Lazear, PhD, a UNC Lineberger member and an assistant professor in the UNC School of Medicine Department of Microbiology and Immunology, spoke about Zika and noted that experts know relatively little about the virus.

Physicians issue advice, raise questions about evaluating blood in the urine as a cancer sign

February 1, 2016

A new report from the American College of Physicians’ High Value Care Task Force issues advice for physicians on how to detect and evaluate blood found in the urine, which is known as hematuria. The report, which was first-authored by UNC Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center member Dr. Matthew Nielsen, also raises questions about the potential harms associated with diagnostic tests that are commonly employed to evaluate this condition.

Preclinical study finds no benefit for diabetes drug in pancreatic cancer

January 19, 2016

UNC Lineberger researchers found in a study published in PLOS ONE that the diabetes drug metformin failed to show any benefit against pancreatic cancer, despite excitement about the drug for potential anti-cancer benefits. They believe the study shows the importance of testing new therapies in preclinical animal models that incorporate actual tumor tissue to better predict patient response.

Promising treatment direction revealed for pancreatic cancers driven by KRAS mutation

January 7, 2016

In the journal Cancer Cell, UNC Lineberger researchers report findings of a promising strategy to treat KRAS-mutant pancreatic cancers. Preclinical studies showed promise for using a type of investigational drug that works by inhibiting the protein ERK, the last of a series of signals of a signaling pathway that drives drive abnormal growth of cells with KRAS mutations.

Study finds gaps in patient knowledge of breast reconstruction surgery and complications

January 6, 2016

Researchers at UNC Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center found that breast cancer patients surveyed about their knowledge of breast reconstruction were only moderately informed about the procedure, and their knowledge of complications was low. The study, published in the journal Annals of Surgery, surveyed 126 breast cancer patients planning to undergo mastectomy at the N.C. Cancer Hospital.

Social networks as important as exercise and diet across the span of our lives

January 4, 2016

UNC-Chapel Hill researchers show how social relationships reduce health risk in each stage of life in a new study. UNC Lineberger member Yang Claire Yang said the analysis “makes it clear that doctors, clinicians, and other health workers should redouble their efforts to help the public understand how important strong social bonds are throughout the course of all of our lives.”

Study finds Fitbits can be used to monitor symptoms in transplant patients

November 24, 2015

UNC Lineberger researchers say the findings of a new study published in the journal Quality of Life Research indicate that activity trackers could be a useful tool for tracking symptoms and physical function. These trackers may be especially useful for patients who are not able to self-report symptoms using questionnaires because of language barriers, literacy, cognitive or health status.