Virginia Commonwealth University

VCU Massey Cancer Center


New drug combination in preclinical laboratory studies effectively kills brain and breast cancer, and inhibits Ebola, influenza and many other viruses and superbug bacteria

Paul Dent for blog

Scientists at Virginia Commonwealth University Massey Cancer Center have developed a drug combination that kills brain and breast cancer stem cells in preclinical laboratory studies. The breakthrough drug combination also prevents viruses, including Ebola, from replicating and makes “superbug” bacteria vulnerable to common antibiotics. The combination works by targeting a protein known as GRP78, according to a study published in the Journal of Cellular Physiology.

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Pre-clinical study shows potential to increase the effectiveness of leukemia treatments by blocking the production of a nuclear protein that affects chemotherapy response and tumor initiation

Preclinical experiments led by a team of researchers at VCU Massey Cancer Center have shown that blocking the production of a protein known as chromodomain helicase DNA-binding protein 4 (CHD4) may help increase the effectiveness of first-line treatments for acute myeloid leukemia (AML), a particularly lethal blood cancer that is increasing in incidence among older adults. 

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Twitter chat on prostate cancer


Last week, the National Cancer Institute and the Men’s Health Network co-hosted a Twitter chat on prostate cancer. The discussion focused on the future of treatments for the disease, and VCU Massey Cancer Center hematologist-oncologist Asit Paul, M.D., Ph.D., with nurse practitioner Gwen Parker, M.S., FNP-C weighed in as the moderator posed a series of questions.

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Massey researchers co-lead global breast cancer trials

Massey researchers are part of two international leadership teams recruiting subjects for phase 3 clinical trials testing novel breast cancer therapies. The first trial, known as KATHERINE, will test the efficacy and safety of a new antibody-drug conjugate, trastuzumab emtansine (T-DM1), in comparison to the standard FDA-approved drug Herceptin as post-operative, or “adjuvant”, therapy for early stage Human Epidermal Growth Factor Receptor 2-positive (HER2+) breast cancer patients.  The second trial, OlympiA, will test the efficacy of the drug olaparib as adjuvant therapy for high risk, triple negative breast cancer patients with inherited loss of the BRCA1 or BRCA2 cancer suppressor genes.

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Novel model developed to predict nicotine emitted from e-cigarettes

VCU Massey Cancer Center researchers at the VCU Center for the Study of Tobacco Products (CSTP) have developed the first ever, evidence-based model that can predict with up to 90 percent accuracy the amount of nicotine emitted by an electronic cigarette (e-cigarette).

The researchers, working in collaboration with investigators at the American University of Beirut, The model predicted that higher voltage e-cigarette devices paired with high-concentration nicotine liquids could emit greater levels of the addictive substance than those of a traditional tobacco cigarette, depending on user puff duration.

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