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RAS Figure

RAS Takes Center Stage

Wreaking cellular havoc in approximately one-third of all cancers, oncogenic RAS signaling has been extensively studied in the 30 years since the gene first associated with rat sarcoma virus was identified in human tumors. But, devising anticancer drugs that target RAS proteins has remained frustratingly elusive. RAS molecular structures lack obvious pockets for small molecule disruption and early attempts to inhibit an enzymatically driven modification of RAS (farnesylation) thought to be necessary for its translocation to the cellular membrane led to disappointing failure in clinical trials. As scientists have continued to focus on the details of RAS signaling and the extensive molecular network under its control, however, their persistence is beginning to pay off: new therapeutic approaches are once again on the horizon. Read more about RAS signaling »

Putting Peptides to Work

When people think about amino acids, they may worry about getting their daily nutritional requirement to build and maintain muscle. For the more biologically sophisticated thinker, amino acids are the building blocks of peptides and proteins, which are the primary effectors of our genetic code—the enzymes and transporters and regulators of cellular function in health and disease. When Joel Schneider, Ph.D., Chief of CCR’s Chemical Biology Laboratory, thinks about amino acids, he sees them as the building blocks of new materials. From his research into the fundamental mechanisms of peptide folding, he explores novel ways to address challenging medical needs. Research in his laboratory has applications ranging from tissue repair to drug delivery. Read more about peptides »

Global Amplification: A New Look at Transcriptional Regulation

Biologists often identify and describe cells based on the molecules they express. The expression of certain genes can be used to separate a stem cell from a neuron, a cancerous cell from a healthy one. However, as cells grow and adapt, they change not just the types of genes they express but the amount of that expression. David Levens, M.D., Ph.D., Senior Investigator in CCR’s Laboratory of Pathology, and Rafael Casellas, Ph.D., Senior Investigator with the National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases (NIAMS) and Adjunct Investigator in CCR’s Laboratory of Cancer Biology and Genetics, came together to study genome-wide transcriptional regulation in B cells from two very different vantage points. Together, they are discovering that global transcriptional amplification is a uniquely regulated process. Read more about transcriptional regulation »

News Articles

Wyndham Wilson, M.D., Ph.D., and Kieron Dunleavy, M.D.

Radiating Good Health

A new study may eliminate the need for radiation in the treatment of a rare B-cell lymphoma.

CT scan from patient with newly diagnosed metastatic ASPS.

Dramatic Responses in a Rare
Type of Sarcoma

Positive results in an early trial for rare sarcoma have spurred a multicenter randomized registration trial.

Image of unsupervised principal component analysis and 2D hierarchical clustering of genomic methylation profiles.

The GIST of One Cancer: Two Distinct Cellular Diseases

New results from the pediatric GIST program find that radically different epigenetic patterns define rare disease subtypes.

Image showing that after encountering antigen, naïve CD8+ T cells undergo proliferation and expansion, and differentiate into effector cells and distinct memory T cell subsets.

A Bias for Memory

Manipulating glucose metabolism predictably alters T-cell phenotypes.

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Recent CCR Awards

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Staff News at CCR

Staff announcements at CCR…


Photo of Lee J. Helman, M.D.

Rare, But Not Forgotten

In this issue of CCR connections, we highlight several examples of how treating a critical mass of patients with rare diseases is paying off for understudied cancers.…


Photo of Anne Hosmalin, M.D., Ph.D.

Cross-Presentation: For
Better or Worse

Anne Hosmalin, M.D., Ph.D., is a Research Director and Professor at the Cochin Institute in Paris, France.

In the Clinic

Photo of Andrea Apolo, M.D.

Treating Bladder Cancer: From Primary Tumor to Metastasis

As a Fellow at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center (MSKCC), Andrea Apolo, M.D., gained valuable experience in the design and execution of clinical trials for bladder cancer…


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