February 2015 — UPCI's Tumor Microenvironment Center (TMC) Bridges Multiple Disciplines to Study External Influences on Tumors
Tumors do not grow in isolation, but are influenced by many surrounding factors in their environment. The Tumor Microenvironment Center (TMC) is a collaborative, multi-disciplinary effort that brings together preclinical and clinical scientists with the goal of translating basic knowledge of the mechanisms of interaction between cancer cells and their microenvironment, to enhance and accelerate direct patient-oriented interventions. Included in the microenvironment are the immune, inflammatory, and patient-specific factors that regulate cancer development, progression, and response to anti-cancer treatments. Watch TMC Co-Directors Dr. Robert Ferris (Professor of Otolaryngology, Immunology, and Radiation Oncology; Chief of Head and Neck Surgery; UPMC Chair in Advanced Oncologic Head and Neck Surgery; Co-Leader of the UPCI Cancer Immunology Program; UPCI Associate Director for Translational Research) and Dr. Dario Vignali (Vice Chair and Professor of Immunology; Co-Leader of the UPCI Cancer Immunology Program) discuss the TMC and its goal to provide more personalized and effective treatments for cancer patients.
January 2015 — Epigenetic Priming Shows Promise in Elderly Patients with Acute Myeloid Leukemia
Seventy percent of elderly patients with acute myeloid leukemia (AML) who were treated with a combination of drugs aimed to make chemotherapy treatments effective and less toxic achieved remission or a slowing of disease progression, in a clinical study led by UPCI's Annie Im, MD, an assistant professor of medicine in Pitt's Division of Hematology/Oncology. The research is important because most elderly patients diagnosed with AML can't tolerate the aggressive chemotherapy needed and tend to have more aggressive disease than younger patients, making prognosis poor.
To learn more, read the press release, and watch Dr. Im discuss the trial below:
December 2014 — V Foundation for Cancer Research Supports Novel Head and Neck Cancer Studies at UPCI
The V Foundation for Cancer Research recently recognized University of Pittsburgh Cancer Institute researcher Julie Bauman, MD, MPH with an award worth $600,000 over three years, to build on existing scientific knowledge and pioneer new treatments for head and neck cancer. Specifically, Dr. Bauman's team is studying gene mutations in patients whose head and neck cancer was caused by human papillomavirus (HPV) in hopes of finding a more effective, less toxic therapy for this often painful, disfiguring disease.
For more information, read the press release and watch Dr. Bauman discuss her research below: