We are rapidly demystifying cancers, exposing the molecular mechanisms underlying tumors and leading the search for the next generation of targeted cancer therapies. We see a future where every cancer and every patient has a cure.



How injury to the pancreas influences cancer development

In a study led by Professor Geoffrey Wahl and Vanderbilt Assistant Professor Kathy DelGiorno, first author Zhibo Ma and colleagues found that cells in the pancreas form new cell types to mitigate injury, but then become susceptible to cancerous mutations. Their findings establish a better understanding of the pancreas’ healing mechanisms and offer insights into what happens when the process goes awry. Targeting these processes may lead to new treatments for patients with pancreatitis and pancreatic cancer.

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Cell Reports

Improving drug options for colorectal cancer patients

A major issue in cancer medicine is matching patients with effective treatments. Although patients with colorectal cancer were among the first to receive targeted therapies, many were ineligible, as their cancer-promoting mutations were believed to cause resistance to certain drugs. Assistant Professor Edward Stites and first author Thomas McFall paired computational models and experimental data and discovered that up to 12,000 additional colon cancer patients could benefit from an existing class of targeted therapies. They hope that clinical trials will highlight the magnitude of these findings and motivate more research on these mutations.

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