Damon Runyon News

April 1, 2019
Awards and Honors


The American Association for Cancer Research announced the winners of this year's Scientific Achievement Awards, which recognize scientists and clinicians who have made significant contributions to our understanding of the diagnosis, prevention, and treatment of cancer. Congratulations to three Damon Runyon Alumni for receiving this honor.


March 26, 2019
Blog


Damon Runyon Clinical Investigator Priscilla K. Brastianos, MD, is driven to find a cure for metastatic cancer. Dr. Brastianos’s grandmother was 23 years old when she felt a breast mass during medical school training and diagnosed herself with breast cancer, only to pass away at 29 when the cancer had metastasized to the spine. Four decades later, her mother faced the same devastating diagnosis. After living through therapy after therapy that failed, she lost the fight to breast cancer that had metastasized to the brain.


March 25, 2019
Blog

By Joseph D. Mancias, MD, PhD, Damon Runyon Rachleff-Innovator at the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute

At the recent Accelerating Cancer Cures Symposium in New York City, I got an inside look at the cutting-edge cancer research presented by fellow Damon Runyon scientists. The unique symposium encourages networking with fellow awardees and pharmaceutical industry leaders.  Unlike solitary work in the lab, collaboration provides a synergy of ideas most likely to lead to unexpected paths of discovery.


March 22, 2019
Blog


To make breakthroughs, trailblazing scientists must possess deep conviction in themselves and a vision of how they can make an impact. For Damon Runyon Clinical Investigator Christine M. Lovly, MD, PhD, this realization came at 16 years old, when she decided that her calling was to help cancer patients in the clinic and seek better treatments in the lab.  


March 21, 2019
Blog


To look at Former Damon Runyon-Dale Frey Breakthrough Scientist Angela J. Waanders, MD, MPH, one would never imagine she has faced failure. She is Director of Precision Medicine in Oncology at the Lurie Children's Hospital of Chicago, an Associate Professor at Northwestern University’s The Feinberg School of Medicine and a pioneer in developing more effective treatments for children with brain tumors.


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.


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