Damon Runyon News

March 18, 2019
New Discovery


Jeopardy! host Alex Trebek’s recent announcement of his stage 4 pancreatic cancer diagnosis has brought renewed attention to this rare, yet devastating disease -- the third-leading cause of death from cancer in the United States. By the time of diagnosis, the cancer has usually spread to other parts of the body, most commonly the liver, making treatment difficult and prognosis poor. Former Damon Runyon-Rachleff Innovator Gregory L. Beatty, MD, PhD, and colleagues at the Abramson Cancer Center of the University of Pennsylvania, recently discovered how the cancer cells are metastasizing.


March 13, 2019
Blog


Trailblazers persevere in the face of uncertain success and overcome obstacles to reach their goals. This is the path Damon Runyon Clinical Investigator Ann L. Mullally, MD, has taken to piece together the cause of a rare blood cancer called myeloproliferative neoplasms (MPN), which has few treatment options and no cure. “Medicine and science allow you not just to imagine changing the world for the better, but also to actually really do it!” she says.


March 11, 2019
Latest News


The Damon Runyon Cancer Research Foundation (Damon Runyon) held the 8th annual Accelerating Cancer Cures Research Symposium. The annual meeting is designed to encourage collaboration between cancer researchers in industry and their counterparts in academia in order to overcome many of the issues that currently impede progress against cancer. Hosted this year by Lilly Oncology, the meeting included academic researchers from top universities and research institutions as well as scientists from Genentech, Gilead Sciences, Merck, Novartis, AbbVie and Amgen.


March 6, 2019
Blog


Trailblazers take a problem and develop solutions, which is exactly what Damon Runyon Clinical Investigator Heather L. Yeo, MD, did when she saw many of her patients were readmitted to the hospital due to post-surgery complications. An oncologist specializing in colon and rectal surgery at New York-Presbyterian/Weill Cornell Medical Center, Dr. Yeo worked with Cornell Tech to develop a smartphone app that allows patients to input information about their health and pictures of wound healing, then sends it to doctors; it also generates reminders to help patients stick to their aftercare regimens. The unique mobile app, now in clinical trials, aims to transform patient care.


February 15, 2019
New Discovery


The success of CAR T (short for chimeric antigen receptor T) therapies, which essentially engineer a patient’s immune T cells to attack cancer cells, has been transformative in people with otherwise terminal blood cancers. However, many patients relapse, and CAR T therapy has not worked with solid tumors. Damon Runyon Clinical Investigator Christopher A. Klebanoff, MD, and colleagues at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center have discovered that the patient’s tumor may be sending a self-destruct signal, killing the CAR T cells. The researchers devised a way to cloak the cancer-fighting cells, so they survive to successfully attack the tumor.


February 6, 2019
Latest News


Registration is now open for the 11th Annual Runyon 5K, which will be held on Saturday, May 11, 2019, at Yankee Stadium. 100% of donations raised will directly support bold and innovative scientists funded by the Damon Runyon Cancer Research Foundation.  Since the inaugural event in 2009, thousands of Runyon 5K participants have helped raise more than $5.2 million for breakthrough cancer research.


February 6, 2019
Latest News


The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) announced in August 2018 that, for the first time, the incidence of head and neck cancers caused by the human papillomavirus (HPV) surpassed that of cervical cancer in the United States. 


February 1, 2019
Blog

By Yung S. Lie, PhD,  President and CEO of the Damon Runyon Cancer Research Foundation


As recent headlines have declared, we have much to celebrate on World Cancer Day: the cancer death rate in the United States has fallen 27% from its peak in 1991. Many factors have contributed to this including the decrease in smoking and improved screening efforts. Tremendous advances in research and technology have been critical to this progress. Our ability to understand the genetic basis of cancer has rapidly accelerated over the last ten years, and now scientists are decoding cancer on an unprecedented scale. This has resulted in more effective precision medicine approaches, treating patients with the therapies to which their cancers are most likely to respond.


January 31, 2019
Latest News


When our Fellowship Award Committee selected Yung as a Damon Runyon Fellow in 2000, little did they know that they were picking its future CEO. She will be the first scientist and alumna to lead the organization since it was founded in 1946.


January 30, 2019
Latest News


Costas A. Lyssiotis, PhD (Damon Runyon Fellow '10-'13 and Damon Runyon-Dale F. Frey Breakthrough Scientist '13-'17) of the University of Michigan School of Medicine, Ann Arbor, received the American Gastroenterological Association Young Investigator Award for his contributions to immunotherapy for pancreatic cancer and new drug therapies targeting cancer metabolism. His lab has pinpointed several unique metabolic differences specific to the pancreas and is developing drugs to exploit them. Promising results in mice have led to a phase III clinical trial that will open soon at the Rogel Cancer Center comparing chemotherapy alone versus chemotherapy plus a metabolomic drug that switches off two pathways of energy.