Damon Runyon News

July 14, 2016

Pavan Bachireddy, MD (Damon Runyon Physician-Scientist ’15-’19), Catherine J. Wu, MD (Damon Runyon-Lilly Clinical Investigator ’07-’12), and colleagues at the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, Boston, reported that a new treatment approach, using repeated doses of the immunotherapy drug ipilimumab, may be able to restore a complete remission for some patients with advanced blood cancers that relapse after stem-cell transplant.

July 6, 2016

Daniel A. Heller, PhD (Damon Runyon Fellow ’10-’12), and colleagues at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, New York, reported that radiation-guided nanoparticles may offer a new approach for penetrating the vascular barrier that often prevents current nanomedicines from reaching metastatic tumors. In a mouse model of lung cancer and metastatic melanoma and breast tumors, the nanoparticles selectively delivered chemotherapy drugs to the tumors. The researchers hope to translate these findings to clinical trials.

May 30, 2016

Damon Runyon Clinical Investigators Aude G. Chapuis, MD (’15-’17) of Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, Seattle, Cassian Yee, MD (’01-’06), of M.D. Anderson Cancer Center, Houston, Jedd D. Wolchok, MD, PhD (’03-’08), of Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, New York, and colleagues, have successfully treated a patient with metastatic melanoma by combining two different types of immunotherapy, harnessing the patient’s own immune system to attack and destroy the cancer.

May 4, 2016

The Pershing Square Sohn Cancer Research Alliance has announced the winners of the 2016 Pershing Square Sohn Prize for Young Investigators in Cancer Research. The annual prize aims to catalyze collaboration among young investigators, academics, nonprofits, investors, and the biotech and pharmaceutical industries. The prize-winners will each receive funding for up to three years. Two of the seven awards were granted to Damon Runyon scientists:  

May 3, 2016

Election to the National Academy of Sciences is one of the highest honors that can be earned by a U.S. scientist. In recognition of their distinguished and continuing achievements in original biomedical research, members of the Damon Runyon community of scientists were inducted this May:


Adrian P. Bird, PhD (Damon Runyon Fellow '71-'73), Wellcome Trust Centre for Cell Biology, University of Edinburgh, Edinburgh, United Kingdom 

April 25, 2016

Cameron J. Turtle, MD, PhD (Damon Runyon Clinical Investigator ’13-’16) and colleagues at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, Seattle, successfully refined a cancer immunotherapy treatment, resulting in no detectable disease in 27 of 29 adult patients (93%) with B-cell acute lymphoblastic leukemia, or ALL. The pioneering technique uses two subsets of genetically engineered immune T-cells from the patient (CD19 CAR-T cells) to target and attack the cancer.

April 25, 2016

Azad Bonni, MD, PhD (Damon Runyon Fellow ’96-’97) of Washington University School of Medicine, St. Louis, and colleagues, were the first to show that a protein called OSMR (Oncostatin M Receptor) is required for glioblastoma tumors to form. They found that blocking OSMR activity in brain tumor stem cells prevented them from forming tumors in mouse brains. In addition, an analysis of 339 tumor samples from human glioblastoma patients showed that higher OSMR expression corresponded with worse patient survival outcome.

April 19, 2016

The American Association for Cancer Research (AACR) named several Damon Runyon scientists as 2016 recipients of its prestigious awards.

AACR Princess Takamatsu Memorial Lectureship: William G. Kaelin, Jr., MD (Damon Runyon Board Member, Chair of Clinical Investigator Award Committee), Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, Boston

AACR-CRI Lloyd J. Old Award in Cancer Immunology: Ronald Levy, MD (Damon Runyon Board Member, Innovation Award Committee Member), Stanford University, Stanford

March 28, 2016

Ash Alizadeh, MD, PhD (Damon Runyon Clinical Investigator ’14-’17) and colleagues at Stanford University School of Medicine, Stanford, developed an enhanced technique that significantly increases the ability to accurately identify and sequence DNA from cancer cells circulating in a person’s blood. The technique, called “iDES-enhanced CAPP-Seq,” can be used to non-invasively identify tumor-specific mutations.

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.