Study identifies pathway in human lymphoma, points way to new blood cancer treatments
A pathway called the “Unfolded Protein Response,” or UPR, a cell’s way of responding to unfolded and misfolded proteins, helps tumor cells escape programmed cell death during the development of lymphoma. Research, led by scientists in the Department of Radiation Oncology from the Perelman School of Medicine, University of Pennsylvania (home of the Abramson Cancer Center), and the Department of Urology, University of California, San Francisco (home of the UCSF Helen Diller Family Comprehensive Cancer Center), shows for the first time that the UPR is active in patients with human lymphomas and mice genetically bred to develop lymphomas. Importantly, when the UPR is inactivated, lymphoma cells readily undergo cell death. Their findings appear online in the Journal of Clinical Investigation and will appear in the December 2012 issue.
Among the research institutions NCI funds across the United States, it currently designates 67 as Cancer Centers. Largely based in research universities, these facilities are home to many of the NCI-supported scientists who conduct a wide range of intense, laboratory research into cancer’s origins and development. The Cancer Centers Program also focuses on trans-disciplinary research, including population science and clinical research. The centers’ research results are often at the forefront of studies in the cancer field.