Tumor-Activated Protein Promotes Cancer Spread

Researchers at the University of California, San Diego School of Medicine and UC San Diego Moores Cancer Center report that cancers physically alter cells in the lymphatic system – a network of vessels that transports and stores immune cells throughout the body – to promote the spread of disease, a process called metastasis.  … Read the full story from the UCSD Newsroom


Dr. Judith VarnerJudith Varner, PhD, is senior author of the study report. She is professor of medicine in the Division of Hematology-Oncology and an investigator in the Solid Tumor Therapeutics Program at the UC San Diego Moores Cancer Center.

Citation for the study report:
PI3Kα activates integrin α4β1 to establish a metastatic niche in lymph nodes. Barbara Garmy-Susini, Christie J. Avraamides, Jay S. Desgrosellier, Michael C. Schmid, Philippe Foubert, Lesley G. Ellies, Andrew M. Lowy, Sarah L. Blair, Scott R. Vandenberg, Brian Datnow, Huan-You Wang, David A. Cheresh, and Judith Varner. PNAS 2013 ; published ahead of print May 13, 2013, doi:10.1073/pnas.1219603110  |  Abstract  |  Read the article (PDF) (UCSD only)

Clinical Trial Evaluates Engineered Smallpox Vaccine as Potential Liver Cancer Killer

As part of a multicenter clinical trial, researchers at University of California, San Diego School of Medicine are evaluating Pexa-Vec (JX-594) to slow the progression of hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) or liver cancer. Pexa-Vec is a genetically engineered virus that is used in the smallpox vaccine.. … Read the full story from the UCSD Newsroom


Dr. Tony ReidPhysician-scientist Tony Reid, MD, PhD, is principal investigator of this clinical trial of Pexa-Vec (JX-594) at UC San Diego, which is one of 42 sites participating in the study.

Reid is professor of medicine and medical oncologist in the Gastrointestinal Cancer Unit of the UCSD Moores Cancer Center. He conducts research in the center’s Solid Tumor Therapeutics Program.

For more information about the Pexa-Vec (known as TRAVERSE) clinical trial, call 858-822-5354 or visit http://traversetrial.com.

Monoclonal Antibody Targets, Kills Leukemia Cells

Researchers at the University of California, San Diego Moores Cancer Center have identified a humanized monoclonal antibody that targets and directly kills chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL) cells…. Read the full story from the UCSD Newsroom


Dr. Thomas KippsThomas Kipps, MD, PhD, Evelyn and Edwin Tasch Chair in Cancer Research, is principal investigator of the study, which was reported in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

Kipps is professor of medicine in the Division of Hematology-Oncology and deputy director of research at the UCSD Moores Cancer Center.

Citation for the published study: Zhang S, Wu CCN, Fecteau J-F, Cui B, Chen L, Zhang L, Wu R, Rassenti L, Lao F, Weigand S, Kipps TJ. Targeting chronic lymphocytic leukemia cells with a humanized monoclonal antibody specific for CD44  PNAS 2013; published ahead of print March 25, 2013, doi:10.1073/pnas.1221841110  |  Read the abstract

New Cancer Council Combines Local Centers’ Strengths

UC San Diego Moores Cancer Center, Salk Institute for Biological Studies and Sanford-Burnham Medical Research Institute come together in novel collaboration

San Diego is a powerhouse for cancer research, home to the University of California, San Diego Moores Cancer Center – the region’s only National Cancer Institute (NCI)-designated comprehensive cancer center – and two NCI-designated centers for basic research: the Salk Institute Cancer Center and the Cancer Center at Sanford-Burnham Medical Research Institute.

These singular enterprises have now formed a novel collaboration – the San Diego National Cancer Institute Cancer Centers Council, or C3 – to leverage their distinct and combined resources and talents. … Read the full story from the UCSD Newsroom


UC San Diego Moores Cancer Center

Dr. Scott Lippman Senior UC San Diego Moores Cancer Center leaders and Department of Medicine professors Scott Lippman, MD, and Barbara Parker, MD, are voting members of the new NCI Cancer Centers Council (C3).

Lippman is director and Chugai Pharmaceutical Chair, UC San Diego Moores Cancer Center and senior associate dean and assistant vice chancellor for Cancer Research and Care, UC San Diego.

Barbara A. Parker, MDParker is professor of clinical medicine, UCSD School of Medicine and deputy director for Clinical Affairs, UCSD Moores Cancer Center.

She received her internal medicine residency training, served as chief medical resident and did her hematology-oncology fellowship at UC San Diego.

Lippman is professor of medicine and Parker is professor of clinical medicine in the Division of Hematology-Oncology.

Drug Targets Hard-to-Reach Leukemia Stem Cells Responsible for Relapses

Researchers at the University of California, San Diego School of Medicine have discovered that hard-to-reach, drug-resistant leukemia stem cells (LSCs) that overexpress multiple pro-survival protein forms are sensitive – and thus vulnerable – to a novel cancer stem cell-targeting drug currently under development. … Read the full story from the UCSD Newsroom


Catriona H. M. Jamieson, MD, PhDPrincipal investigator of the study is Catriona H. M. Jamieson, MD, PhD, associate professor of medicine in the Division of Hematology-Oncology and director of stem cell research at the UC San Diego Moores Cancer Center.

Dr. Jamieson is on the steering committee for the Moores Cancer Center’s My Answer to Cancer initiative for personalized cancer therapy. She is a member of the faculty in the UCSD Biomedical Sciences Graduate Program.

Citation for the report: Goff DJ, Recart AC, Sadarangani A, Chun H-J, Barrett CL, Krajewska M, Leu H, Low-Marchelli J, Ma W, Shih AY, Wei J, Zhai D, Geron I, Pu M, Bao L, Chuang R, Balaian L, Gotlib J, Minden M, Martinelli G, Rusert J, Dao K-H, Shazand K, Wentworth P, Smith KM, Jamieson CAM, Morris SR, Messer K, S.B. Goldstein LSB, Hudson TJ, Marra M, Frazer KA, Pellecchia M, Reed JC, and Jamieson CHM. (2013) A Pan-BCL2 Inhibitor Renders Bone-Marrow-Resident Human Leukemia Stem Cells Sensitive to Tyrosine Kinase Inhibition. Cell Stem Cell 10.1016/j.stem.2012.12.011, online January 17, 2013.

More about Dr. Jamieson and her work:

UCSD-based Cancer Consortium Receives 5-Year, $20 Million Grant Renewal

NCI funding continues work focused on chronic lymphocytic leukemia  

An international consortium of scientists studying chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL), based at the University of California, San Diego School of Medicine, has been awarded a 5-year, $20 million grant by the National Cancer Institute, part of the National Institutes of Health. The grant is the second renewal of funding for a broad-based effort designed to better understand the pathology of CLL – the most common form of leukemia in the Western world – and develop new drugs and treatments. … Read the full story from the UCSD Newsroom


Dr. Thomas KippsDr. Thomas Kipps heads the Chronic Lymphocytic Leukemia Research Consortium (CRC), the eight-member international body receiving the grant. Thomas Kipps, MD, PhD, is professor of medicine, Evelyn and Edwin Tasch Chair in Cancer Research, and director of the Clinical Trials Office and deputy director of research at UC San Diego Moores Cancer Center.

Serving Up a Winning Strategy to Beat Cancer

News Feature from the UC San Diego Health System Newsroom

Serving Up a Winning Strategy to Beat Cancer
A profile of Dr. Scott M. Lippman

New director of Moores Cancer Center
by Kim Edwards

Scott M. Lippman, MD, new director of Moores Cancer Center is at the net, poised and ready to beat his fiercest opponent.

“In war, in any kind of battle, even a tennis match, you want to identify your opponent’s weakness and go after it,” said Lippman. “It’s the same with cancer. This is a war, and you want to have the strongest army and plan of attack.”… Read the full profile from the UC San Diego Health System newsroom

Promising New Target for Stifling the Growth and Spread of Cancer

UCSD researchers find inhibiting single protein blocks the inflammation that fuels tumors

Cancer and chronic inflammation are partners in peril, with the latter increasing the likelihood that malignant tumors will develop, grow and spread. Researchers at the University of California, San Diego School of Medicine say they’ve identified a tumor inflammation trigger that is common to most, if not all, cancers … Read the full story from the UCSD Newsroom

Dr. Judith A. Varner

The study’s senior investigator is Judith A. Varner, PhD, Professor of Medicine in the Division of Hematology-Oncology and researcher in the Tumor Growth, Invasion and Metastasis Program at UCSD Moores Cancer Center. Collaborators include Department of Medicine faculty members Seth J. Field, MD, PhD, and Mark H. Ginsberg, MD.  |  Read the published study in the June 14, 2011, issue of Cancer Cell (free full text).

UC San Diego Selected as Study Site for National Research Network

27 institutions looking for ways to boost immune system to fight cancer

The University of California, San Diego School of Medicine is among 27 research institutions selected across North America to be a part of the Cancer Immunotherapy Trials Network (CITN), funded by the National Cancer Institute (NCI). The CITN will establish a network of top academic immunologists to conduct multicenter research on agents that boost patients’ own immune systems to fight their cancer. … Read the full story from the UCSD Newsroom

Dr. Thomas Kipps, pictured above, is principal investigator of the UC San Diego CITN study site. Thomas J. Kipps, MD, PhD, is Professor of Medicine in the Division of Hematology-Oncology and deputy director of the UC San Diego Moores Cancer Center. He holds the Evelyn and Edwin Tasch Chair in Cancer Research. Read more about the Cancer Immunotherapy Trials Network.