Damon Runyon News

March 23, 2016

Feng Zhang, PhD (Damon Runyon-Rachleff Innovator ‘12-‘14) of the Broad Institute, Cambridge, and Jennifer A. Doudna, PhD (Damon Runyon Fellowship Sponsor, Former Fellowship Award Committee Member) of the University of California, Berkeley, were announced as recipients of the prestigious Canada Gairdner International Award for 2016 "for development of CRISPR-CAS as a genome editing tool for eukaryotic cells.” They are among five scientists honored for pioneering accomplishments in this field. 


March 18, 2016

Adam de la Zerda, PhD (Damon Runyon-Dale F. Frey Scientist ‘13, Damon Runyon Fellow ‘11-‘12) of Stanford University, Stanford, and colleagues, reported the success of a new technique called MOZART that enables 3D real-time imaging of individual cells or even molecules in a living animal. They were able to provide the first glimpse under the skin of a living animal, showing intricate details in the lymph and blood vessels.

March 18, 2016

Douglas K. Graham, MD, PhD (Damon Runyon Clinical Investigator ’07-’12), of Emory University School of Medicine, Atlanta, and colleagues, reported that a novel compound called MRX-2843 has shown promise in preclinical studies; it blocked the growth of acute myeloid leukemia (AML) cells, led to a significant level of cancer cell death and more than doubled the median days of survival in laboratory models with a drug-resistant form of the disease. MRX-2843 is effective at targeting cancer cells with activated MERTK protein.

March 3, 2016

Andrew T. Chan, MD, MPH (Damon Runyon Clinical Investigator ‘08-‘13) of Harvard Medical School and Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston, and colleagues, reported an analysis of data from two long-term epidemiologic studies showing that regular use of aspirin significantly reduces the overall risk of cancer. Their findings suggest that the use of aspirin may complement, but not replace, the preventive benefits of colonoscopy and other methods of cancer screening.

February 29, 2016

Gregory L. Beatty, MD, PhD (Nadia’s Gift Foundation Innovator ’12-’15) and colleagues at the Abramson Cancer Center at University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, reported the discovery of how macrophage immune cells can be “re-educated” by an experimental immune therapy (CD40 antibodies) to help break down the scaffolding that surrounds and protects pancreatic cancer from chemotherapy.

February 10, 2016

Himisha Beltran, MD (Damon Runyon-Gordon Family Clinical Investigator ’13-’16) of Weill Cornell Medicine, New York, and colleagues, used next-generation sequencing technologies to analyze neuroendocrine prostate cancer, an aggressive resistant form of cancer which sometimes develops in certain patients. The researchers examined resistance in samples collected from 81 patients and discovered the distinctive genetic, epigenetic and molecular features that underlie neuroendocrine prostate cancer.

February 10, 2016

Madhav Dhodapkar, MD (Damon Runyon-Lilly Clinical Investigator ‘02-‘07) of Yale Cancer Center, New Haven, and colleagues have determined that chronic stimulation of the immune system by lipids made in the context of inflammation underlies the origins of at least a third of all myelomas, a type of cancer affecting plasma cells. The study suggests that newer approaches to lower the levels of these lipids in patients with precursors for myeloma.

January 20, 2016

Piero D. Dalerba, MD (Damon Runyon-Rachleff Innovator ‘16-‘17), of Columbia University Medical Center, New York, and colleagues, have identified a biomarker, the CDX2 gene, that could be used to predict which stage II colon cancer patients may benefit from chemotherapy after surgery to prevent a recurrence of their disease. They found that cancers that do not express the gene have a worse prognosis than those that do. The study was published in the online edition of the New England Journal of Medicine.


January 6, 2016

David G. Kirsch, MD, PhD (Damon Runyon-Rachleff Innovator '08-'10, Innovation Award Committee Member) at the Duke University School of Medicine, Durham, and colleagues, have tested a new injectable agent that causes cancer cells in a tumor to fluoresce, potentially increasing a surgeon's ability to locate and remove all of a cancerous tumor on the first attempt.

January 6, 2016

Mark A. Lemmon, PhD (Damon Runyon Scholar ’97-‘98, Damon Runyon Fellow ’93-’96) of Yale University, New Haven, and colleagues at The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia reported that a next-generation ALK inhibitor drug, called PF-06463922, shows promise in treating pediatric neuroblastoma. In animal models, it caused rapid and sustained tumor regression and was more effective than the FDA-approved ALK inhibitor crizotinib.

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