Changes to DNA On-Off Switches Affect Cells' Ability to Repair Breaks, Respond to Chemotherapy
PHILADELPHIA — Double-strand breaks in DNA happen every time a cell divides and replicates. Depending on the type of cell, that can be pretty often. Many proteins are involved in everyday DNA repair, but if they are mutated, the repair system breaks down and cancer can occur. Cells have two complicated ways to repair these breaks, which can affect the stability of the entire genome. more
Cancer Suppressor Gene Links Metabolism with Cellular Aging
PHILADELPHIA — It is perhaps impossible to overstate the importance of the tumor suppressor gene p53. It is the single most frequently mutated gene in human tumors. p53 keeps pre-cancerous cells in check by causing cells, among other things, to become senescent – aging at the cellular level. Loss of p53 causes cells to ignore the cellular signals that would normally make mutant or damaged cells die or stop growing. more
Targeting Downstream Proteins in Cancer-Causing Pathway Shows Promise in Cell, Animal Model, Penn Study Finds
PHILADELPHIA — The cancer-causing form of the gene Myc alters the metabolism of mitochondria, the cell’s powerhouse, making it dependent on the amino acid glutamine for survival. In fact, 40 percent of all “hard-to-treat” cancers have a mutation in the Myc gene. more
Genetically Modified "Serial Killer" T Cells Obliterate Tumors in Patients with Chronic Lymphocytic Leukemia, Penn Researchers Report
(PHILADELPHIA) -- In a cancer treatment breakthrough 20 years in the making, researchers from the University of Pennsylvania's Abramson Cancer Center and Perelman School of Medicine have shown sustained remissions of up to a year among a small group of advanced chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL) patients treated with genetically engineered versions of their own T cells. The protocol, which involves removing patients' cells and modifying them in Penn's vaccine production facility, then infusing the new cells back into the patient's body following chemotherapy, provides a tumor-attack roadmap for the treatment of other cancers including those of the lung and ovaries and myeloma and melanoma. more
Abramson Family Cancer Research institute seminars
At the Abramson Family Cancer Research Institute, our primary goal is to transform scientific breakthroughs into innovative treatments as quickly as possible. Our researchers and physicians work in comprehensive teams dedicated to ultimately curing multiple types of cancer. Basic scientists, medical oncologists, pathologists, and surgeons work together on the complex steps of turning discoveries into treatments that will benefit cancer patients throughout the world.
The AFCRI Plays a Leading Role in Cancer Research
The Abramson Family Cancer Research Institute leads important efforts in the study of cancer cell metabolism, the tumor microenvironment, DNA damage responses, cancer genetics/genomics, immune responses, immunotherapy, and other scientific areas to better understand cancer and develop improved treatment for those afflicted with this disease.
Abramson Family Cancer Research Institute's Commitment to Educational Programs
The faculty of the Abramson Family Cancer Research Institute maintain important leadership roles in undergraduate, graduate, medical, and postdoctoral educational programs at the University of Pennsylvania. In addition, the Abramson Family Cancer Research Institute directs a number of related programs, including a formal seminar series organized in partnership with the Division of Hematology and Oncology.
Educational Opportunities at the Abramson Family Cancer Research Institute
Choose the Abramson Family Cancer Research Institute to learn from leaders in cancer research. The faculty of the Abramson Family Cancer Research Institute continue to make fundamental contributions to the educational mission at the undergraduate, graduate medical student, and postdoctoral levels.
Research areas include the detailed study of cancer cell metabolism, DNA damage responses, cancer genetics, and immunotherapy, as well as other areas of cancer biology.
Faculty at the Abramson Family Cancer Research Institute focus on regenerative medicine through gene and cell-based therapies. Read our Faculty Bios.
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