Damon Runyon News

July 16, 2024

Some cancer cells, such as those in lung tumors, change drastically in appearance and behavior when they develop resistance to targeted therapies. The result of these changes, collectively known as histological transformation (HT), is a more aggressive tumor type. HT necessitates a new therapeutic strategy, since the original oncogene is no longer driving the tumor’s spread.

July 11, 2024

Blood stem cells, like all living things, lose their regenerative capacity with age. Because blood stem cells generate not only blood but all the cells in our immune system, age-related dysfunction can lead to a plethora of systemic issues in older adults, including blood cancer. There is, of course, no stopping time. But according to a new study from researchers at the Columbia Stem Cell Initiative, including Damon Runyon Fellow James Swann, VetMB, DPhil, there may be a way to slow down the clock.

July 8, 2024

The Damon Runyon Cancer Research Foundation held its Annual Breakfast at The Metropolitan Club in New York on Wednesday, June 12, 2024. The event raised over $1.5 million to support promising early-career scientists pursuing innovative strategies to prevent, diagnose, and treat all forms of cancer.

June 28, 2024

One in eight women in the U.S. will develop breast cancer during their lifetime, and for many, the best treatment option is surgical removal of the tumor, known as a lumpectomy. Unfortunately, the surgical tools currently in use do not always accurately identify the extent of the tumor, necessitating a second surgery for up to a third of patients.

June 20, 2024

The Damon Runyon Cancer Research Foundation has named the first cohort of the Damon Runyon Scholars Program for Advancing Research and Knowledge (SPARK), a one-year intensive cancer research internship program for post-baccalaureate students who come from varied backgrounds. The goal of the program is to provide young trainees who have the potential to become leaders in cancer research with rigorous scientific training and a network of mentors and peers to support their next steps into graduate school and beyond.

June 13, 2024

Prostate cancer is a disease with many subtypes, some of which are more difficult to treat than others. While most prostate cancer cells rely on androgen hormones to grow—allowing androgen blockers to emerge as an effective therapy—15 to 20 percent of prostate cancers evolve to be “androgen-independent.” One such subtype is known as castration-resistant neuroendocrine prostate cancer (CRPC-NE), for which chemotherapy is the primary treatment strategy.

May 23, 2024

Four scientists with exceptional promise and novel approaches to fighting cancer have been named the 2024 recipients of the Damon Runyon Physician-Scientist Training Award. This award, established to help bolster the ranks of this vital cohort of cancer researchers, provides physicians who have completed clinical specialty fellowship training with the opportunity to become leaders in translational and clinical research.

May 23, 2024

The National Academy of Sciences (NAS), established in 1863, is the body of distinguished researchers “charged with providing independent, objective advice to the nation on matters related to science and technology.” Election to membership is among the highest honors a scientist can receive. This year, four former Damon Runyon Fellows and one current Board Member join the NAS ranks, bringing the total number of Damon Runyon alumni in NAS to 104.

May 10, 2024

A tissue biopsy, in which a section of skin is surgically removed for microscopic evaluation, has long been the most effective means of diagnosing skin cancer. But biopsies are invasive and time-consuming procedures, with patients often waiting days for results, developing scars, or forgoing biopsy altogether and opting to “wait and see.” Given that one in five Americans will develop skin cancer in their lifetime, this is a dilemma many of us have experienced firsthand.

May 9, 2024

Immunotherapies to treat pancreatic cancer—a disease with a nearly 90 percent mortality rate—have been the subject of intensive research efforts in recent years, largely because they have succeeded where other treatment approaches have failed. New developments in mRNA vaccines, immune-enhancing therapies, and combination immunotherapy-chemotherapy regimens have marked a new era in pancreatic cancer treatment. But still, for many patients, nothing seems to work.