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Case Comprehensive Cancer Center

2018 Cancer Center News

2018 Cancer Center News

The Noa Noy Memorial Fund

Noa Noy, PhDWe are honored to announce an award fund in memory of Professor Noa Noy, PhD, to support students’ and trainees’ participation in the FASEB Science Research Conferences. 

Noa earned her PhD from Tel Aviv University (Israel) and trained as a postdoctoral fellow at the Weizmann Institute for Sciences (Israel) and UCSF. In 1992, she launched her independent research program as an assistant professor at the Cornell Weill Medical College. Her long and productive career included professorial positions at Cornell University, the Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine, and the Lerner Research Institute of the Cleveland Clinic. Learn more about the Noa Noy Memorial Fund>‌

Researchers Uncover How Cancer Stem Cells Drive Triple-Negative Breast Cancer

Cleveland Clinic researchers have published findings in Nature Communications [Thiagarajan, Nat Commun, 2018] on a new stem cell pathway that allows a highly aggressive form of breast cancer - triple-negative breast cancer - to thrive.

Hormone therapy for breast cancer blocks cancer cells from interacting with hormones such as estrogen and progesterone, which fuel the cancer cells to grow and spread. However, triple-negative breast cancer cells lack the receptors needed to bind to these hormones and growth factors. Without such receptors, typical therapy does not work, contributing to poor survival rates for women with this subtype of breast cancer.
Cleveland Clinic Lerner Research Institute researchers believe that an aggressive population of cancer cells, called cancer stem cells, is at the heart of why many cancers, including triple-negative breast cancer, are challenging to treat. Cancer stem cells self-replicate, rapidly grow and spread, and change their phenotype in response to the tumor environment. more>

University Hospitals Recruits Top Scientist to Lead Research at UH Seidman Cancer Center

University Hospitals recently announced the recruitment of one of the nation's leading scientists, Quintin Pan, PhD.

Pan joins University Hospitals as deputy director for research at UH Seidman Cancer Center and professor of medicine at Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine.

He will focus on translational cancer research ranging from novel target identification and drug discovery, to pre-clinical validation and human clinical trials. In particular, his laboratory has elucidated key insights regarding genetic determinants of cancer that provide the foundation for novel therapies to treat aggressive head and neck cancers. more>

Gerds and Nazha Selected as HemOnc Today Next Gen Innovators

Case Comprehensive Cancer Center members Aaron T. Gerds, MD, MS and Aziz Nazha, MD were recently nominated into the inaugural class of HemOnc Today Next Gen Innovators.

According HemOnc Today, " Next Gen Innovators are a highly select group of early career hematologists and oncologists who have advanced their field through innovative approaches in the clinical and research settings." Candidates were nominated by the HemOnc Today Editorial Board and other leaders in the field. more>

Huang Receives $450,000 from Pediatric Cancer Research Foundation

Leading cancer researcher, Alex Huang MD, PhD, has received a $450,000 Basic Science grant from the Pediatric Cancer Research Foundation to study targeted approaches for effectively eliminating metastatic osteosarcoma.

"We're very excited to study an important cancer that occurs in adolescents, young adults and children," said Huang, who is a professor of pediatrics at Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine and co-Leader of the Hematopoietic and Immune Cancer Biology Program of the Case Comprehensive Cancer Center. "We are now on the cusp of clinical trials, and look forward to offering hope to young patients with metastatic osteosarcoma in the near future." more>

Parameswaran Receives Funding for Pediatric Cancer Research

Reshmi Parameswaran, PhD is the recipient of a grant from the Andrew McDonough B+ Foundation for her project, Reversing NK cell dysfunction in pediatric cancer. Dr. Parameswaran is an Assistant Professor of Pathology at CWRU and member of the Hematopoietic and Immune Cancer Biology Program of the Case CCC. more>

Researchers Find New Gene Variant Linked to Deadly Prostate Cancer

Cleveland Clinic researchers have confirmed for the first time a mechanistic link between the gene HSD17B4 and deadly, treatment-resistant prostate cancer.

The research, led by Nima Sharifi, MD, co-Leader of the GU Malignancies Program at the Case Comprehensive Cancer Center Center and staff in the Cleveland Clinic Lerner Research Institute Department of Cancer Biology, shows that men who lack a certain subtype of the gene may be more susceptible to aggressive prostate cancer that does not respond to treatment.

Dr. Sharifi and colleagues built upon their earlier seminal work in which they discovered that a gene called HSD3B1, when altered, enables prostate tumors to evade treatment and proliferate. They went on to show that the presence of this gene variant does in fact change treatment outcomes and overall survival in men. more>

Case CCC Researchers Develop Highly Sensitive Swallowable Test to Detect Pre-cancerous Barrett's Esophagus

Investigators at the Case Comprehensive Cancer Center (Case CCC), Case Western Reserve University (CWRU) School of Medicine (SOM) and University Hospitals Cleveland Medical Center (UHCMC) have developed a simple, swallowable test for early detection of Barrett's esophagus (BE) that offers promise for preventing deaths from esophageal adenocarcinoma.

Barrett's esophagus is the precursor lesion of esophageal adenocarcinoma (EAC), a highly lethal cancer with more than 80 percent mortality at five years. Lethal EAC can be prevented when patients are diagnosed at the precursor stage of BE, and early foci of near cancerous changes (dysplasias) are ablated. However, detection of BE has traditionally necessitated endoscopy, an expensive and invasive test that requires sedation and is thus unsuitable as a method for wide BE screening. In a significant step forward, the team has developed an easy, five minute outpatient test that is more than 90 percent sensitive for detecting individuals with BE. Patients simply swallow a vitamin pill sized balloon that swabs the esophagus, and that, after retrieval through the mouth, is tested for DNA abnormalities that the investigators discovered are diagnostic of BE. A study describing the development of the test and the results from its clinical trial in patients has been published in the January 17 issue of Science Translational Medicine [Moinova, Sci Transl Med, 2018]. more>