HIV plays a direct role in causing blood cell cancers in rare instances, says a new study of HIV and tumor DNA. Scientists have long known that HIV contributes to several cancers by weakening the immune system’s ability to fend off cancer-causing infections. However, this latest study, published in Science Advances this week, is the first to demonstrate HIV as a cause.
A grim statistic is driving Steven Rosenberg’s mission to find new cancer treatments—and his partnership with Frederick National Laboratory to do so. “Every year in the United States, about 600,000 people die of cancer, 90% of whom die of the solid epithelial cancers,” said Rosenberg, the M.D., Ph.D., chief of the National Cancer Institute’s Surgery Branch, head of the Tumor Immunology Section at NCI’s Center for Cancer Research.
NCI at Frederick’s latest class of student interns continues to telework under pandemic protocols. While that means not working in laboratories or offices as they would in a normal year, it doesn’t mean a lack of opportunities to make a difference in science. In fact, according to Kedar Narayan, Ph.D., volume electron microscopy group leader at the Center for Molecular Microscopy, one opportunity is quite unique.
Across the world, conferencing software flicked open on computer screens. It was 8 a.m. in San Francisco, 11 a.m. in Frederick, 5 p.m. in Madrid, 11 p.m. in Hong Kong. The first day of the Third National Cancer Institute RAS Initiative Symposium was about to begin. Time zones notwithstanding, scientists and onlookers were tuning in from offices, studies, and living rooms to watch the livestream of the virtual event.
At first, Meredith Yeager, Ph.D., thought there was a mistake in the data. She was examining the association between exposure to ionizing radiation after the 1986 Chernobyl power plant disaster and the frequency of exposed Ukrainians later passing radiation-driven genetic mutations to their children. Previous studies suggested that the children’s DNA should have contained multiple such mutations. It didn’t.
The Spring Research Festival came to Fort Detrick this year without its signature massive tent, the home of a sprawling equipment expo with dozens of booths. It came without audiences in auditoriums or gatherings around scientific posters. The community didn’t circulate between buildings for events. On the surface, it may have seemed that the festival didn’t come at all. But after being cancelled last year due to the pandemic, the annual two-day event did indeed return in a virtual format.
The past year for Ligia Pinto, Ph.D., and her staff has been full of pressure and remote meetings at all hours of the day and night. It’s also been one of partnerships and progress. Pinto heads the Vaccine, Immunity, and Cancer Directorate, the group at the Frederick National Laboratory that’s leading the national SARS-CoV-2 Serological Sciences Network (SeroNet). At this time last year, her laboratories, which specialized in human papillomavirus, antibody science, and serology, had just been asked to help the Food and Drug Administration evaluate the quality of the new SARS-CoV-2 antibody tests that were flooding the market.
Researchers have found a potential therapeutic target for lung squamous cell carcinoma (LSCC), the second most prevalent type of lung cancer. This may pave the way for a targeted therapy for LSCC, which currently has no approved targeted therapies.
Used successfully in several industries, digital twins have the potential to forge a path toward advances in cancer care and research. Frederick National Laboratory is a lead organization in the strategic interagency collaboration between the National Cancer Institute and the U.S. Department of Energy and has been instrumental in the development of innovative technologies for creating a cancer patient digital twin.
Researchers in the National Cancer Institute’s Center for Cancer Research (CCR) and the Frederick National Laboratory’s Basic Science Program have discovered molecules that could keep the body from working against a cancer treatment.