Damon Runyon News

August 22, 2022

Damon Runyon is excited to announce the election of Joseph Pearlberg, MD, PhD, to its Board of Directors.

August 19, 2022
New Discovery

As anyone who has undergone chemotherapy or radiation therapy knows, nausea is a frequent and distressing side effect and anti-nausea medications do not always work. Effective remedies for nausea are critical for cancer patients’ quality of life and ability to continue with treatment. But as with many types of pain, such remedies require a better understanding of the neural pathways that produce the sensation.

August 17, 2022
New Discovery

Head and neck squamous cell carcinoma, or HNSCC, is a cancer that develops in the mucous membranes of the mouth, nose, and throat, most often affecting men in their 50s and 60s. HNSCC is generally treated with surgery, followed by chemotherapy and/or radiation, but given the functional importance of the affected area, less severe treatment options could vastly improve patients’ quality of life. Additionally, the prognosis for patients with human papillomavirus (HPV)-positive head and neck cancer is much better than that of HPV-negative patients, highlighting the need for expanded treatment options.

August 12, 2022
Latest News

President Biden has announced his intent to appoint Clinical Investigator Award Committee member Monica Bertagnolli, MD, as Director of the National Cancer Institute. Dr. Bertagnolli will be the 16th Director, and the first woman, to head the NCI.

August 4, 2022
Latest News

Damon Runyon is delighted to announce the election of Lori J. Pierce, MD, to its Board of Directors.

July 29, 2022
New Discovery

Despite the best efforts of cancer researchers and clinicians, pancreatic cancer remains a highly lethal disease, with only 5% of patients surviving 5 years after their diagnosis. This is in part because pancreatic cancer cells have relatively few mutations, meaning fewer strange-looking proteins, or neoantigens, on their surface to attract the attention of cancer-killing immune T cells. This makes most pancreatic tumors “immune cold,” safe from detection by the body’s defense system.

July 28, 2022
Latest News

The Damon Runyon Cancer Research Foundation has named 16 new Damon Runyon Fellows, exceptional postdoctoral scientists conducting basic and translational cancer research in the laboratories of leading senior investigators. The prestigious, four-year Fellowship encourages the nation's most promising young scientists to pursue careers in cancer research by providing them with independent funding ($260,000 total) to investigate cancer causes, mechanisms, therapies, and prevention.

July 18, 2022
Latest News

Amid growing calls for academic and funding institutions to recognize the financial hardships faced by postdoctoral researchers across the country, the Damon Runyon Cancer Research Foundation has announced that it will increase its Fellowship stipend by 12.5% over the award’s four-year term. The stipend increase will be effective for all Damon Runyon Fellows whose awards begin or renew on or after July 1, 2022.

July 14, 2022
New Discovery

Ras proteins, present in all mammalian cells, are molecular switches that control the processes of cell survival and proliferation. Unsurprisingly, mutations in any of the three RAS genes (KRAS, NRAS, or HRAS) can lead to uncontrolled cell growth, or cancer. Since these cancer drivers were first identified in the 1980s, it has been clear that different types of cancer are coupled with specific RAS mutants. For example, nearly 90% of pancreatic tumors display KRAS mutations, while NRAS mutations are more likely to appear in blood cancers. Why these associations exist, however, is not well understood.

July 13, 2022
New Discovery

Colorectal cancer is among the leading causes of cancer deaths worldwide, second only to lung cancer. As with many cancers, the primary cause of death in this type of cancer is metastasis, or when the cancer spreads from its original tissue to another organ in the body. In colorectal cancer, the liver is most common site of metastasis—more than half of all colorectal cancer patients will develop tumors in their liver during the course of their disease. Targeting the genes and pathways that promote liver metastasis may be key to developing better treatments for colorectal cancer, but until recently, these genetic mechanisms were not well defined.

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