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Dream Team Leader Becomes President-Elect of AACR

Elizabeth M. Jaffee, MD, leader of the SU2C-Lustgarten Foundation Pancreatic Cancer Dream Team, has been elected president-elect of the American Association for Cancer Research, SU2C’s Scientific Partner. Dr. Jaffee, who is deputy director of the Sidney Kimmel Comprehensive Cancer Center at Johns Hopkins in Baltimore; will become president of AACR one year from now. She is an internationally recognized expert in cancer immunology, with specific expertise in preclinical and early clinical development of immunotherapies for breast and pancreatic cancers.  The Dream Team was launched in 2014 and is developing new treatments for pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma (PDA), the most common form of cancer of the pancreas. 

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SU2C scientists probe patient response to cancer immunotherapy

In research supported by SU2C, F. Stephen Hodi, MD, of the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute and colleagues investigated whether a serumbiomarker could predict the response of patients receiving immune checkpoint inhibitors, a type of immunotherapy. This is very important to improving the utilization ofimmunotherapies. According to a paper published in a journal published by SU2C’s Scientific Partner, the American Association for Cancer Research, Hodi’s team found that serum levels of a protein called ANGPT2 predicted response to, and influenced the outcomes of,immune checkpoint inhibitors in patients with advanced melanoma.

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Scientific Advisory Committee member, Dr. David Tuveson, named director of Cold Spring Harbor cancer

David Tuveson, MD, PhD, a leader in pancreatic cancer research, and member of SU2C’s Scientific Advisory Committee has been named the new director of CSHL’s cancer center, a National Cancer Institute (NCI)-designated research facility.  In addition to his roles at Cold Spring Harbor Lab, where he is a professor, and as one of our SU2C scientific leaders, Tuveson is a clinician who treats pancreatic cancer patients at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center and is Director of Research for SU2C collaborator, the Lustgarten Foundation for Pancreatic Research.

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SU2C-supported researchers find novel strategy in combination drug therapy

A research team supported in part by SU2C has published findings that show how we may be able to kill cancerous cells more effectively by combining drugs that work together to significantly disrupt a cancer cell’s ability to survive DNA damage. These findings are the first to show this combination drug therapy as a novel approach for treating acute myeloid leukemia (AML) and potentially, many other cancers.

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SU2C-supported researchers gain new insights into immunotherapy, precision treatment

Immunotherapy and precision treatment are two of the biggest trends in cancer research and treatment today. Studies published recently in the prestigious New England Journal of Medicine show that SU2C-supported researchers are at the forefront of these remarkable trends. These studies deal with immunotherapy in advanced melanoma and targeted therapy in metastatic prostate cancer.

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SU2C scientist elected to prestigious National Academy of Sciences

Congratulations to Peter Jones, PhD, DSc, a member of the SU2C scientific community, who has been elected to the prestigious National Academy of Sciences!  The Academy advises the government and the nation on scientific issues.  An expert in epigenetics at the Van Andel Research Institute (VARI) in Grand Rapids, Michigan, Dr. Jones was co-leader of the SU2C Epigenetics Dream Team and is continuing his work as leader of the VARI-SU2C Epigenetics Dream Team. Also serving as team leader is Dr. Stephen Baylin of VARI. 

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Pediatric cancers: Pediatric Cancer Dream Team scientists report new findings

Researchers from the SU2C-St. Baldrick’s Foundation Pediatric Cancer Dream Team found that if medulloblastoma, a brain cancer more common in children than adults, recurs after treatment, it is likely to be genetically different from the original disease. This could open new avenues for better treatment of the recurrent tumors.

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Other scientists on the pediatric team demonstrated ways to improve the process through which T cells, the immune cells needed for adoptive cell therapy (the powerful immunotherapy that has saved the lives of children with leukemia), are collected and modified in the laboratory before they are returned to the patient.

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Prostate Cancer Dream Team Members develop “classifier” to aid diagnosis

Scientists with the SU2C-Prostate Cancer Foundation Dream Team have developed a “molecular classifier” for patients with metastatic prostate cancer that has become resistant to the standard hormone treatment.  Based on biomarkers, the “classifier” can help identify tumors that are transitioning to a more dangerous form of the disease, potentially improving treatment and benefitting the patient.

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Ovarian Cancer Dream Team addresses inherited risk

Researchers on the SU2C-OCRF-NOCC-OCNA Ovarian Cancer Dream Team are part of a group that studied inherited risk in ovarian cancer.  They found that nearly one-fifth of the ovarian cancer cases examined are associated with inherited mutations in genes such as BRCA. Armed with this knowledge, the Dream Team is preparing a trial of improved access to genetic testing and risk assessment.

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SU2C Dream Team Leader Dr. Ribas talks dangers of tanning beds

More than 1.6 million high school students are estimated to use tanning beds every year, with four times as many girls as boys using indoor tanning devices, according to a Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) study.
According to the
American Academy of Dermatology, those who have been exposed to UV radiation from indoor tanning are 59 percent more likely to develop melanoma than those who have never tanned indoors.

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