Body’s Own Gene Editing System Generates Leukemia Stem Cells

Inhibiting the editing enzyme may provide a new therapeutic approach for blood cancers —

Cancer stem cells are like zombies — even after a tumor is destroyed, they can keep coming back. These cells have an unlimited capacity to regenerate themselves, making more cancer stem cells and more tumors. Researchers at University of California San Diego School of Medicine have now unraveled how pre-leukemic white blood cell precursors become leukemia stem cells. The study, published June 9 in Cell Stem Cell, used human cells to define the RNA editing enzyme ADAR1’s role in leukemia, and find a way to stop it. … Read the Full Story from the UC San Diego Newsroom


Catriona H. M. Jamieson, MD, PhD

Catriona H. M. Jamieson, MD, PhD

The senior author of the study report is Catriona Jamieson, MD, PhD, Associate Professor of Medicine and Chief of the Division of Regenerative Medicine.

Dr. Jamieson is Deputy Director of the Sanford Stem Cell Clinical Center at UC San Diego Health, Director of the CIRM Alpha Stem Cell Clinic at UC San Diego School of Medicine and Director of Stem Cell Research at UC San Diego Moores Cancer Center.

UC San Diego Division of Regenerative Medicine coauthors include Sheldon Morris, MD, MPH, Data Management Lead for the UC San Diego CIRM Alpha Stem Cell Clinic; co-first authors Maria Anna Zipeto and Angela C. Court, Anil Sadarangani, Nathaniel P. Delos Santos, Larisa Balaian, Gabriel Pineda, Cayla N. Mason, Ifat Geron, Daniel J. Goff, Russell Wall, Leslie A. Crews and Qingfei Jiang.

Read the study report (UC San Diego only)

Visit the Jamieson Lab Website

Novel Imaging Model Helps Reveal New Therapeutic Target for Pancreatic Cancer

Antisense treatment in preclinical models shows effectiveness against deadly tumors —

Pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma, the most common of pancreatic cancers, is extraordinarily lethal, with a 5-year survival rate of just 6 percent. Chemotherapy treatments are poorly effective, in part due to a high degree of drug-resistance to currently used regimens.

In a new study, published online June 6 in Nature, researchers at University of California San Diego School of Medicine and Moores Cancer Center, together with colleagues at Keio University, the University of Nebraska and Ionis Pharmaceuticals describe an innovative new model that not only allowed them to track drug resistance in vivo, but also revealed a new therapeutic target … Read the Full Story from the UC San Diego Newsroom


Tannishtha Reya, PhD, Professor of Medicine in the Division of Hematology-Oncology and Professor of Pharmacology, was co-principal investigator of the project.

Dr. Frederick D. Park

Dr. Frederick D. Park

Another Department of Medicine coauthor was Frederick D. Park, MD, PhD, Assistant Professor in the Division of Gastroenterology.

Personalized Medicine Leads to Better Outcomes for Patients with Cancer

In a meta-analysis of hundreds of clinical trials involving thousands of patients, researchers at University of California San Diego School of Medicine report that therapeutic approaches using precision medicine, which emphasizes the use of individual genetics to refine cancer treatment, showed improved response and longer periods of disease remission, even in phase I trials.

The findings are published in the June 6, 2016 issue of JAMA Oncology. … Read the Full Story from the UC San Diego Newsroom


Dr. Razelle Kurzrock

Dr. Razelle Kurzrock

The senior author of the report in JAMA Oncology is Razelle Kurzrock, MD, Director of the Center for Personalized Cancer Therapy and Clinical Trials Office at Moores Cancer Center.

Dr. Kurzrock is Chief of the Division of Hematology-Oncology in the Department of Medicine.

UC San Diego Sparks New Cancer-Focused Startup, Oncternal, with Exclusive Antibody License

Oncternal Therapeutics, a new cancer-focused biotechnology startup, has signed a wide-ranging licensing agreement with UC San Diego to develop and commercialize antibodies and antibody-related binding agents.

Oncternal is based on the pioneering research of UC San Diego scientist and clinician Thomas J. Kipps, Distinguished Professor, Evelyn and Edwin Tasch Chair in Cancer Research, and deputy director of research operations at the Moores Cancer Center on campus. … Read the Full Story from the UC San Diego Newsroom


New Computer Program Can Help Uncover Hidden Genomic Alterations that Drive Cancers

Tested on large tumor genomics database, REVEALER method allows researchers to connect genomics to cell function —

Cancer is rarely the result of a single mutation in a single gene. Rather, tumors arise from the complex interplay between any number of mutually exclusive abnormal changes in the genome, the combinations of which can be unique to each individual patient. To better characterize the functional context of genomic variations in cancer, researchers at University of California San Diego School of Medicine and the Broad Institute developed a new computer algorithm they call REVEALER. … Read the Full Story from the UC San Diego Newsroom


Dr. Jill Mesirov

Dr. Jill Mesirov

Co-senior authors on the REVEALER study report are Jill P. Mesirov, PhD, and Pablo Tamayo, PhD. Dr. Mesirov is Professor of Medicine in the Division of Medical Genetics and Associate Vice Chancellor for Computational Health Sciences at UC San Diego School of Medicine.

Dr. Tamayo is Professor of Medicine in the Division of Medical Genetics and Co-Director of the UC San Diego Moores Cancer Center Genomics and Computational Biology Shared Resource.

Study Shows Certain Gastrointestinal Tumors Associated with Higher Mortality

Researchers at University of California, San Diego School of Medicine have determined that certain gastrointestinal stromal tumors (GISTs) are more deadly than previously reported in medical literature. Findings are published online in the Journal of Gastrointestinal Surgery. … Read the Full Story from the UC San Diego Newsroom


Paul Fanta, MD, MS

Paul Fanta, MD, MS

Paul T. Fanta, MD, Health Sciences Associate Clinical Professor of Medicine in the Division of Hematology-Oncology, is a study coauthor.

Short Overnight Fasting Linked to Increased Risk of Breast Cancer Recurrence

Researchers suggest increasing duration of nightly fasting may improve prognosis —

In patients with breast cancer, a short overnight fast of less than 13 hours was associated with a statistically significant, 36 percent higher risk of breast cancer recurrence and a non-significant, 21 percent higher probability of death from the disease compared to patients who fasted 13 or more hours per night, report University of California, San Diego School of Medicine researchers.

The study, publishing online in the Journal of the American Medical Association Oncology on March 31 … Read the Full Story from the UC San Diego Newsroom

Altman Clinical and Translational Research Building Makes Its Debut

New structure will be campus hub for advancing basic science to clinical applications —

Rising above Interstate 5 on the east campus of UC San Diego, the Altman Clinical and Translational Research Institute Building (ACTRI) officially opened its doors Friday in a ribbon-cutting ceremony under blue skies.

The new seven-story building of steel, glass and grooved concrete is home to the Clinical and Translational Research Institute (CTRI) at UC San Diego, established in 2010 as part of a national consortium of 60 medical research institutions created to energize bench-to-bedside efforts. … Read the Full Story from the UC San Diego Newsroom

Altman Clinical and Translational Research Institute Building Opens March 4

Stunning structure will house array of scientists and centers dedicated to speeding basic research into new treatments and therapies —

Rising above Interstate 5 on the east campus of University of California, San Diego, the Altman Clinical and Translational Research Institute Building (ACTRI), a five-sided polygon of glass, steel and grooved concrete, officially opens its doors March 4 in a ribbon-cutting ceremony.

“The building is an architectural marvel, but more important is what it represents and the work that will go on inside,” said UC San Diego Chancellor Pradeep K. Khosla. … Read the Full Story from the UC San Diego Newsroom


Dr. Gary Firestein

Dr. Gary Firestein

The director of the Clinical and Translational Research Institute at UC San Diego is Gary S. Firestein, MD, Professor of Medicine and Dean and Associate Vice Chancellor of Translational Medicine at UC San Diego.

CTRI opened in 2010 as a part of the national Clinical and Translational Science Award consortium through a five-year, $37.2 million grant from the National Center for Advancing Translational Science of the National Institutes of Health. CTRI received a $52 million renewal grant last year.

More about the activities of the CTRI

 

Predictive Proteins: Elevated Levels Trigger Metastatic Progression of Cancer Cells

New biomarker may offer more precise and accurate prognoses of disease —

Researchers at University of California, San Diego School of Medicine and Moores Cancer Center, with colleagues in Spain and Germany, have unraveled how elevated levels of particular proteins in cancer cells trigger hyperactivity in other proteins, fueling the growth and spread of a variety of cancers. … Read the Full Story from the UC San Diego Newsroom


Dr. Pradipta GhoshDr. Pradipta Ghosh is senior author of the study report, which appears in the February 26 online publication of Scientific Reports.

Pradipta Ghosh, MD, is Associate Professor of Medicine in the Division of Gastroenterology.

Read Study Report (Full Text; Open Access)