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HIV Integration at Certain Sites in Host DNA Is Linked to the Expansion and Persistence of Infected Cells

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In an untreated patient, most HIV-infected cells die within one or two days. A small fraction of the infected cells is long-lived. Successfully treating a patient with combination antiretroviral therapy (cART) prevents any additional cells from becoming infected, and all of the short-lived infected cells die. Although some long-lived infected cells also die, some long-lived cells persist in patients, preventing them from being cured. Some infected cells can grow and divide, and some of these expanded clones of infected cells, which can be identified by the location of the provirus in the host DNA, can persist for more than 10 years in patients.

Editor’s note: This article was originally published on the Center for Cancer Research website.

When the Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) infects a cell, the virus inserts a copy of its genetic material into the host cell’s DNA. The inserted genetic material, which is also called a provirus, is used to produce new viruses. Because the viral DNA can be inserted at many sites in the host cell DNA, the site of integration marks each infected cell. Patients infected with HIV are currently treated with combined antiretroviral therapy (cART), which prevents viral replication in the majority of treated patients. When cART is initiated, most HIV-infected cells die in one or two days, and more of the infected cells die over a period of weeks to months. However there are some long-lived infected cells that do not die, which prevents patients from being cured.

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New Mouse Model May Aid in Developing Effective Therapies for Ovarian Cancer

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Allograft models were developed by transplanting tumor fragments into the ovaries of recipient mice. Tumor fragments were obtained from genetically engineered mouse (GEM) models that developed ovarian tumors after the induction of genetic alterations similar to those observed in human patients. These genetic events, within several months, lead to ovarian tumor development similar to what is seen in human serous epithelial ovarian cancer (SEOC). Using murine allograft models of SEOC results in faster tumor growth and allows for large cohort production, which represents a valuable tool for preclinical testing of therapeutic agents.

By Frank Blanchard, Staff Writer

A new genetically engineered mouse model appears promising as an effective tool for preclinical testing of novel therapies for ovarian cancer, which tends to be diagnosed in late stage. There are few effective treatments for the disease.

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Bringing Breast Cancer Technologies to Market

Female scientist in laboratory

CCR researcher and Breast Cancer Startup Challenge inventor Nadya Tarasova, Ph.D.

CCR research is recognized in novel competition to encourage the commercialization of breast cancer inventions.

Editor’s note: This article was originally published in CCR Connections (Volume 8, No. 1). The Breast Cancer Startup Challenge was named one of six finalists in the HHS Innovates Award Competition, and was one of three finalists recognized by HHS Secretary Sylvia Mathews Burwell and Deputy Secretary Bill Corr. For more information on the Challenge, see previous article on the Poster website. 

Start-up companies are instrumental in bringing the fruits of scientific research to market. Recognizing an opportunity to bring entrepreneurial minds to bear on the diagnosis and treatment of breast cancer, the Avon Foundation for Women partnered with NCI and the Center for Advancing Innovation to launch the Breast Cancer Startup Challenge.

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Rein and Zheng Elected to American Academy of Microbiology

American Academy of Microbiology logo

By Nancy Parrish, Staff Writer

Earlier this year, Alan Rein, Ph.D., and Zhi-Ming (Thomas) Zheng, M.D., Ph.D., were elected to fellowship in the American Academy of Microbiology, the honorific leadership group within the American Society for Microbiology (ASM). They were among 88 microbiologists who were elected to the academy “through a highly selective, peer-review process, based on their records of scientific achievement and original contributions that have advanced microbiology,” according to the society’s website.

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