March 2024

Goings Claims the Gold as OHS Rekindles Chili Cook-off

NCI Frederick has a new chili champion. Dawn Goings, administrative assistant in Environment, Health, and Safety, blazed her way through a heated competition to clinch first place in the 17th Chili Cook-off. The cook-off, a storied lunch-hour tradition at NCI Frederick, returned to campus this year for the first time since 2019, rising phoenix-like from the ashes of the pandemic.

Enhanced Antibody-Drug Conjugate Eradicates Large Breast Cancer Tumors in Experimental Models

In cancer therapeutics, targeted therapies are a rapidly developing field of interest. These include antibody-drug conjugates (ADCs), compounds that carry small-molecule anticancer drugs to specific antigens on tumors, directly killing tumor cells. Though the first ADC approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) was brought to the clinic in 2000, it was later voluntarily removed due to high toxicity. Since then, more precise technologies have improved generations of ADCs, and there are currently 12 ADCs that are FDA-approved for clinical use. However, most available ADCs offer limited improvement and can still be toxic.

But a study conducted by researchers in the National Cancer Institute’s Center for Cancer Research and published in Cell Reports in December 2023 highlights a new ADC—carefully engineered, screened, and purified—that can eradicate large tumors in animal models at a dose per body weight that humans can tolerate, showing that ADCs can be improved and made less toxic. Clinical trials with humans will be needed to prove efficacy.

Ways to Share Science at the Spring Research Festival

The Spring Research Festival, Fort Detrick’s annual scientific showcase, is seeking participants. NCI Frederick and Frederick National Laboratory staff (including those located at the Advanced Technology Research Facility) are encouraged to participate in one or more of the festival’s functions. Registration for participants, namely presenters and judges, is open until April 5.