Cancer Center News

2010 Cancer Center News

Philip H. Howe, PhD Appointed Case CCC Associate Director for Basic Research at the LRI
December 13, 2010
The Case CCC announces the appointment of Philip H. Howe, PhD, Staff in the Cancer Biology Department of the Lerner Research Institute, to the position of Case CCC Associate Director for Basic Research at the LRI. Janet Houghton, PhD, Chair of the Department of Cancer Biology, remains an active member of our scientific programs and provides her leadership and Cancer Center advocacy as department chair.

Phil is an active investigator in cancer signaling including TGF‐beta, Wnt, FoxO3 and related pathways. He is organizing a TGF‐beta multi investigator effort.

Basic, Clinical, or Translational Human Tissue Based Cancer Research Project Awards
December 13, 2010
The Case Comprehensive Cancer Center is pleased to announce the recipients of pilot funding to support basic, clinical or translational human tissue based research. The purpose of these awards is to foster collaborations and to promote and increase institution-wide capacity and competitiveness in research...

Lack of Sleep Linked to Risky Colon Polyps
October 15, 2010
People who slept less than six hours a night were more likely to have dangerous polyps in their colon or rectum compared to better-rested patients, in one recent study.

The polyps, called colorectal adenomas, progress to become cancerous tumors in about 10% of cases. As a result, they are considered to be "precancerous" polyps and a strong predictor of the disease...

Researchers Discover Novel Method to Identify Metastatic Breast Cancer Cells from their Nonmetastatic Counterparts
October 2010
Excerpt from the School of Medicine Dean's October 2010 Newsletter

In a study appearing in Oncogene, researchers from the Case Comprehensive Cancer Center developed a unique and simple assay that marks and differentiates lethal metastatic breast cancer cells from indolent forms of the disease. In doing so, William P. Schiemann, PhD, co-director, Breast Cancer Program and associate professor, general medical sciences-oncology and Michael K. Wendt, PhD, American Cancer Society Postdoctoral Fellow at the School of Medicine, found that late-stage breast cancer cells form compact and dense spheroid structures in 3-dimensional culture systems, while nonmetastatic cells form intricate branched structures.

The development of metastatic phenotypes in cancer patients is devastating and underlies the deaths of 90 percent of patients with solid tumors, including those originating in the breast. Information as to how metastases arise during breast cancer progression remains incomplete, as does the ability to readily distinguish metastatic cells from their nonmetastatic counterparts. In a study appearing in Oncogene, researchers from the Case Comprehensive Cancer Center developed a unique and simple assay that marks and differentiates lethal metastatic breast cancer cells from indolent forms of the disease. In doing so, William P. Schiemann, PhD, co-director, Breast Cancer Program and associate professor, general medical sciences-oncology and Michael K. Wendt, PhD, American Cancer Society Postdoctoral Fellow at the School of Medicine, found that late-stage breast cancer cells form compact and dense spheroid structures in 3-dimensional culture systems, while nonmetastatic cells form intricate branched structures. The researchers went on to show that the process of epithelial-mesenchymal transition was sufficient to drive spheroid development and metastasis in breast cancer cells. The study delineates new mechanistic insights into how breast cancer cells become metastatic, as well as provides new methodologies that may improve the detection of metastatic disease in clinical settings.

Susan G. Komen Awards Case Western Reserve School of Medicine Nearly $500,000 to Lead a Clinical Study Aimed to Improve Outcomes for Older Women with Breast Cancer
July 19, 2010
Cynthia Owusu, MD, associate professor at Case Western Reserve University and geriatric-oncologist at University Hospitals Case Medical Center, the School's primary affiliate, has received nearly $500,000 from Susan G. Komen For the Cure to fund a novel three-year study aimed at improving outcomes for older women with newly-diagnosed breast cancer...

CWRU Dental Researchers Discover Human Beta Defensins-3 Ignite in Oral Cancer Growth
July 13, 2010
Detecting oral cancer in its earliest stages can save the lives of the nearly 40,500 people diagnosed annually. But early detection has been difficult.

Case Western Reserve University School of Dental Medicine researchers discovered a biomarker, called human beta defensin-3 (hBD-3), which may serve as an early warning. The defensin is present in all oral cancers and associated with the early stages of oral cancer...

Cheryl Thompson, PhD and Nora Nock, PhD Recognized with TREC Trainee Award for Excellence
June 25, 2010
Case Comprehensive Cancer Center members, Cheryl Thompson, PhD, Assistant Professor of Family Medicine-Research and Nora Nock, PhD, Assistant Professor of Epidemiology and Biostatistics, each received the TREC Trainee Award for Excellence at the June 2010 national meeting of the Trandisciplinary Research on Energetics and Cancer (TREC) Centers with the NCI...

Study: Coffee Could Reduce Chances for Certain Cancers
June 23, 2010
A new study shows drinking coffee could help decrease your chances of developing certain kinds of cancer.

Researchers found, people who drink four or more cups of caffeinated coffee a day, reduce their risk of getting oral, head or neck cancers, by 39 percent.

University Hospitals Case Medical Center Cardiologists Discover Cancer Risks in Group of Blood Pressure Medications
June 14, 2010
University Hospitals Case Medical Center cardiologists have uncovered new research showing an increased risk of cancer with a group of blood pressure medications known as angiotensin-receptor blockers (ARBs)...

Study Shows Soy is Not Only Safe for Breast Cancer Survivors, It May Also Be Beneficial
March 2, 2010
Despite soy's healthy profile, many women who have had breast cancer are reluctant to eat soy foods. And many cancer doctors caution their patients against doing so...

March National Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month
March 1, 2010
Colorectal cancer (cancer of the colon and rectum) is the second leading cause of cancer-related deaths in the United States (after lung cancer). March is National Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month, so it's a good time to learn more about colorectal cancer and how it can be prevented or best treated...

Gene Therapy Gives Hope in Virulent Form of Cancer
February 25, 2010
Melanoma researchers are known to be a jaded bunch. Despite years of research, the last significant new treatment for the severe form of skin cancer came out in 1992 -- and only 5 percent to 10 percent of cancer patients get any lasting results with that treatment...

Cleveland Clinic, CWRU Dental Researcher Finds Switch That Turns on the Spread of Cancer
February 15, 2010
Reporting in Nature Cell Biology, researchers describe the discovery of a specific protein called disabled-2 (Dab2) that switches on the process that releases cancer cells from the original tumor and allows the cells to spread and develop into new tumors in other parts of the body...

Older Female Cancer Survivors Have Added Health Issues Compared to Their Counterparts
February 10, 2010
As cancer survivors live longer, questions arise about what kind of care long-term survivors require.

A recently published study from Case Western Reserve University's Mandel School of Applied Social Sciences found 245 older married women who survived cancer had more health problems as compared to a sample of 245 married women without cancer...

University Hospitals Case Medical Center Researchers Publish Promising Findings for Advanced Cervical Cancer
February 9, 2010
Researchers at the Ireland Cancer Center of University Hospitals (UH) Case Medical Center, have published new findings that may lead to a new standard of care for patients with locally advanced cervical cancer.

Published in the February issue of Clinical Cancer Research, the phase one study found that a new chemotherapy medicine, Triapine, was well tolerated in combination with standard-of-care cisplatin chemotherapy and radiation treatment in women with cervical cancer. This regimen provided both significant reduction in cancer disease and cancer control.

Case Western Reserve Receives $2.8M to Further Breast Cancer Research
January 27, 2010
Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine has been awarded six Department of Defense (DOD) Congressionally Directed Medical Research Programs (CDMRP) grants for innovative medical research. The grants, totaling nearly $2.8 million, will advance research in the field of breast cancer...



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