New Discoveries and Honors in Cancer Research

Read the latest cancer research and recognition from the members of the Damon Runyon scientific circle.
July 28, 2011
Genetic profile of head and neck cancer

Researchers from the Broad Institute, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, Johns Hopkins Kimmel Cancer Center, the University of Pittsburgh, and the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, including Joseph A. Califano, III, MD (Damon Runyon-Lilly Clinical Investigator ‘01-‘06), Matthew L. Meyerson, MD, PhD (Damon Runyon Fellow ‘95-‘98), Kenneth W. Kinzler, PhD (Damon Runyon-Rachleff Innovation Award Committee Member), and Todd R. Golub, MD (Damon Runyon-Rachleff Innovation Award Committee Member, Board Member), collaborated to identify genetic mutations present in tumor DNA from head and neck squamous cell carcinoma. They found defects in the tumor suppressor gene p53, as well as in the Notch signaling genes. In the future, scientists hope to be able to use these genetic alterations to predict a patient’s prognosis and define personalized treatment strategies. These studies were published in two papers in the journal Science.