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According to American Cancer Society researchers, in the United States in 2021, there will be an estimated 281,550 new cases of invasive breast cancer diagnosed in women.*Finding breast cancer early and getting state-of-the-art cancer treatment are the most important strategies to prevent deaths from breast cancer. Breast cancer that’s found early,…
 
“More than 50% of cancer survivors report problems paying medical bills, financial distress, or delaying and/or forgoing medical care in the past year.”*The financial burden of cancer can affect survivors for years. And it can affect anyone: a cancer diagnosis as a young adult can have financial ramifications that can change the course of a person’…
 
The St. Baldrick's Foundation, the largest charitable funder of childhood cancer research grants, and the American Cancer Society, a health organization dedicated to eliminating cancer, formed a partnership in 2019 to fund grants that will accelerate childhood cancer research with the goals of understanding and discovering new treatment options and…
 
A new publication by six current and former American Cancer Society grantees describes the challenges faced by early-career investigators as a result of the pandemic and offers recommendations “to help institutions and individuals develop effective strategies to promote success and career advancement.”They joined the TheoryLab podcast to talk about…
 
Two American Cancer Society grantees—one with a recent publication on the early mechanisms of lung cancer initiation, the other with a new study out on the development of melanoma resistance during the earliest phases of treatment—joined the podcast for a conversation about catching the problem early.This conversation is geared for a scientific aud…
 
When tumors grow within the body they press on surrounding tissues, building up pressure. Pancreatic cancer builds up more pressure than any other cancer. Why is that? How do cancer cells adapt to this high-pressure environment or take advantage of it? In the words of Liam Holt, PhD, “Normal cells and early-stage cancer cells stop growing when pres…
 
In this episode, Gustavo Martinez, PhD, and Daniel Herranz, PhD, discussed their new cancer research publications. Dr. Martinez talked about his research into how T cells respond in the context of cancer, and Dr. Herrera explained his lab’s findings related to targeting cancer metabolism in leukemia.Gustavo Martinez, PhD, is Assistant Professor at …
 
In this episode, Ran Li, PhD, and Daniel Heller, PhD, discuss new advances in using nanoparticles to deliver drugs to cancer cells.Dr. Li was recently the first author of a paper in Nature Nanotech that described how cancer cells could be tricked into thinking they’re starved for nutrients, causing them to increase consumption of a cancer drug atta…
 
In this episode, two American Cancer Society grantees discuss recent findings related to how breast cancer patients feel about de-escalating chemotherapy as well as a new paper on comorbidities in breast cancer patients. The first half of the conversation is not necessarily technical, but it’s geared for a scientific audience. The second half is a …
 
Finding out that a loved one has cancer can bring many changes. Doctors and nurses receive years of training in patient care, but family caregivers are often thrust into this role overnight with no training on the critical processes that their loved ones depend on them to do properly every day.Rachel Cannady—as Strategic Director of Cancer Caregive…
 
Elyse Park, PhD, is Professor of Psychiatry at Harvard Medical School, Director of the Health Promotion and Resiliency Research Program at Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH), Associate Director of Survivorship Research, and Psychosocial Services for the MGH Cancer Center Survivorship Program. Her most recent American Cancer Society grant focuses …
 
In this episode—which is for a scientific audience until the 27-minute mark—a current American Cancer Society grantee and a former grantee spoke with each other about their recently published new findings in cancer research.Alessandro Gardini, PhD, an Assistant Professor at The Wistar Institute, studies the epigenetic control of transcription durin…
 
Lisa McKenzie, PhD, has a new American Cancer Society research grant to explore the relationships between oil and gas environmental exposures and childhood acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL). The award builds upon her preliminary studies, which suggested that children living near oil and gas wells “may be economically disadvantaged and at greater r…
 
In this episode—which skews more toward a scientific audience until the last five minutes—two American Cancer Society grantees spoke with each other about their recently published new findings in breast cancer research.Sonia de Assis, PhD, is interested in epigenetic inheritance: “In addition to genetic material or DNA, our parents also pass to us …
 
In this episode, three researchers from Dartmouth who are investigating very different aspects of cancer joined the podcast to share their work. One of the guests, James Moseley, PhD, summed up why a diversity of scientific approaches and collaboration among researchers is so important:“We’re all in this together. There are so many different angles…
 
To understand how cancer develops and spreads, and to develop better therapies, it’s critical to understand the tumor microenvironment, the immediate area around a tumor that “helps generate a supportive niche for it to develop and grow.” Johanna Joyce, PhD, joined the podcast to explain that the diverse normal cells around a tumor are enmeshed wit…
 
When Delaram Cavey was diagnosed with stage IV lung cancer seven years ago, she was fortunate to have two wonderful daughters to help her along her journey. Delaram and her older daughter, Catherine Cavey, joined the podcast to share the story of Delaram’s cancer diagnosis and treatment.They also talked about how the cancer experience has sparked a…
 
Melanoma is much less common than some other types of skin cancers, but it is more dangerous because it’s much more likely to spread to other parts of the body if not caught and treated early.While there have been some exciting advances in melanoma research in recent years, there is much left to learn about, for example, how it spreads, how it resi…
 
Lung cancer is the leading cause of death from cancer, but if it’s found at an earlier stage, when it is small and before it has spread, it is more likely to be successfully treated.To take us through the state of lung cancer screening in the US—big picture issues, challenges faced by patients and clinicians, and reasons for excitement—we were join…
 
The American Cancer Society is committed to maintaining a broad cancer research portfolio—any type of cancer, within any part of the cancer research continuum.This episode is a perfect example of this commitment and features three cancer researchers from the UPMC Hillman Cancer Center. Kathy Shair, PhD, studies how the Epstein-Barr virus causes can…
 
At first glance, the work of Eva Hernando and Thales Papagiannakopoulos might not seem to have much in common. Dr. Hernando studies the contributions of non-genetic alterations to the aggressive behavior of melanoma. Dr. Papagiannakopoulos is applying CRISPR/Cas9 to study lung cancer.But in this conversation, Drs. Hernando and Papagiannakopoulos ta…
 
Pancreatic cancer is a terrible disease. “The 5-year relative survival rate for all stages combined is 10%,” according to Cancer Facts & Figures 2021. “Even for the small percentage (11%) of people diagnosed with local disease, the 5-year survival rate is only 39%.*”But cancer researchers are learning more every day about how to find pancreatic can…
 
How can we use the exceptional greed of cancer cells against them? They gobble up all the resources in their local environment, spread to another area, and then gobble up more resources. Thales Papagiannakopoulos, PhD, explains that there’s a cost to that. A cancer cell takes a lot of fuel, but it produces a lot of waste. It has a few tricks for ge…
 
A key challenge in treating some cancers is the ability to distinguish tumors that are likely to metastasize from indolent disease that can be managed with active surveillance. Dr. Peder Larson has developed a non-invasive imaging method based on magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) to measure the rate at which a tumor creates lactic acid and transport…
 
Screening can prevent colorectal cancer through the detection and removal of precancerous growths (polyps), as well as detect cancer at an early stage, when treatment is usually less intensive and more successful.People living in rural areas are much less likely to undergo screening due to a number of barriers, but some rural clinics have achieved …
 
Dr. Nicole Steinmetz is well on her way in her mission to “push new frontiers in medicine and bio-nanotechnology through the design, development and testing of materials and biologics derived from plant viruses.”Plant viruses? Plant viruses.They’re non-infectious to humans. When injected into a tumor the immune system is alerted to their presence; …
 
When it comes to how diet affects colorectal cancer risk, it’s not just a question of whether you eat your fruits and vegetables. Are you eating the right combinations of foods? How do your dietary patterns influence your metabolism? How does genetics play a role? Dr. Fred Tabung just received an American Cancer Society research grant to explore th…
 
While working as program directors at Georgia Institute of Technology’s VentureLab—Georgia Tech’s incubator for technology startups—Melissa Heffner and Sara Henderson saw an opportunity to create a program for female entrepreneurs. Female Founders is “a four-week virtual cohort experience where participants gain a foundational knowledge of lean sta…
 
The troubling increase of early-onset colorectal cancer incidence and mortality has led to a shift in the age at which the American Cancer Society recommends beginning colorectal cancer screening, from age 50 to age 45.What are some of the biological and environmental factors that might be behind this rise in early-onset colorectal cancer? How can …
 
The collaboration between Claudia Benavente, PhD, and Michael Emanuele, PhD, is a perfect example of how cancer researchers with overlapping interests but very different expertise can come together to find a new path forward in cancer research.They found each other through the American Cancer Society’s online community for current and former cancer…
 
What does studying how cells communicate in round worms have to do with cancer in humans? In order for cancer cells to multiply indefinitely and metastasize to another part of the body, they have to communicate with each other. Understanding how they do that is critical to developing the next generation of cancer therapeutics. As American Cancer So…
 
HPV, or Human Papillomavirus, is a common virus that can cause six types of cancer. While there is no treatment for HPV, there is a vaccine that can prevent it.The HPV vaccine works best when given between ages 9 and 12, for boys and girls, and it is safe, effective, and long-lasting.Jenny Grandis, MD, is at the forefront of translational research …
 
American Cancer Society scientists recently released a new report, “Blueprint for cancer research: Critical gaps and opportunities,” that sought to highlight the work needed to develop better tools and strategies to limit cancer as a major health concern. Our guest, Lynne Elmore, PhD— Senior Scientific Director of Cell Biology and Preclinical Cance…
 
Early detection of cancer through screening reduces mortality from cancers of the colon and rectum, breast, uterine cervix, and lung (see https://www.cancer.org/healthy/find-cancer-early/cancer-screening-guidelines.html). Cancer mortality has declined in recent decades in part due to progress in cancer screening technologies, awareness, research, a…
 
Every year the American Cancer Society estimates the number of new cancer cases and deaths that will occur nationally and in each state. Published annually since 1951, “Cancer Facts & Figures” provides the most current information about cancer. These widely cited projections serve as a basis for research, are a valued resource by policymakers, and …
 
NCI-designated Cancer Centers play leading roles in their communities through cancer research, cancer prevention and control, and clinical research. Being the director of a Cancer Center is a position of immense responsibility. Now imaging taking on that role during a pandemic.Joann Sweasy, PhD—the inaugural holder of the Nancy C. and Craig M. Berg…
 
Dr. Stacey Finley develops mathematical models to better understand cancer, tumor growth, and the effectiveness of different therapies.Her team creates a mathematical representation of what’s happening in biology, so they can understand how reactions are happening in cells, how cells are interacting with one other, and how that influences the growt…
 
Lung squamous cell carcinoma (LSCC) is the 2nd most common sub-type of lung cancer, accounting for around 30% of lung cancer diagnoses. And it is a particularly deadly disease that’s characterized by poor therapeutic response, a high relapse rate, and poor prognosis. Furthermore, unlike other subtypes of lung cancer, to date there are no therapies …
 
The number of adults aged 85 and older is expected to triple by 2060, due in large part to better treatments and a decline in tobacco use. Because cancer risk increases with age, demand for cancer care in this population will continue to grow. William Dale, MD, PhD, joined the podcast to talk about the needs of older adults who are cancer patients …
 
Clinical trials are the key step in advancing potential new cancer treatments out of the lab and into the clinic. Patient participation in trials is crucial to this success. But only a small fraction of patients end up enrolling in a cancer clinical trial due to barriers that make participation difficult or even impossible. As a result, approximate…
 
Resistance to treatment – it’s one of the most important issues in cancer research. If cancer cells aren’t killed during treatment, either because they weren’t affected or because they changed enough to survive the treatment, it could lead to cancer recurrence.Tuomas Tammela, MD, PhD, has an American Cancer Society grant to explore resistance to tr…
 
It is no exaggeration to say that Jennifer Temel, MD, has helped change how cancer care is practiced.Through her research, she has shown that integrating palliative care and oncology care from the time of cancer diagnosis improves patient outcomes. This early integrated care model is now the standard of care in the United States and many other coun…
 
Just as telemedicine is changing the ways in which primary care is delivered, much of cancer care can be delivered safely, effectively and less expensively from home.Penn Home Infusion Therapy has been providing infusion therapy at home for around two decades, but starting last year, in November 2019, just a few months before the pandemic started t…
 
Dawn Hershman, MD, MS, was recently named an American Cancer Society Clinical Research Professor for the seminal contributions she’s made to the field of cancer health services research.Her contributions to the field are so wide ranging and impactful, they defy summary. From identifying patients who are at risk of receiving poor cancer care and int…
 
In the TheoryLab podcast, we usually highlight the work of American Cancer Society scientists and funded researchers. But in this episode, we speak with some amazing women who exemplify why we support cancer research.In this two-part episode, you'll hear from a metastatic breast cancer THRIVER, a cancer survivor, and the managing director of Making…
 
Siran Koroukian, PhD, is a leading health policy and health services researcher whose work bridges health equity, big data, public health, and cancer. In her new study—funded through a collaboration between the American Cancer Society and Flatiron Health—Dr. Koroukian will use real world data from Flatiron’s national de-identified oncology datasets…
 
Leticia Nogueira, PhD, MPH—Senior Principal Scientist in the Data Science Research team at the American Cancer Society—has broken new ground with her research into climate change and cancer.In 2019, she published work showing how disasters such as hurricanes can interrupt the provision of oncology care. Radiotherapy is particularly vulnerable, beca…
 
What is it that goes so wrong when cancer cells develop the ability to divide indefinitely? Dr. Johannes Walter joined the TheoryLab podcast to help answer that question. He and his lab are at the leading edge of discovery science aimed at understanding DNA replication and repair, areas that are critical to understanding cancer and developing new t…
 
The American Cancer Society has updated its guideline on diet and physical activity for cancer prevention. Dr. Laura Makaroff—Senior Vice President of Prevention and Early Detection at the American Cancer Society—joined the podcast to explain how staying at a healthy weight, staying active throughout life, following a healthy eating pattern, and av…
 
It’s difficult to comprehend how busy and densely packed it is on the inside of a cell. But understanding cell structure and organization is critical to developing new cancer drugs. Isaac Klein, MD, PhD, a postdoctoral fellow in the Richard Young Laboratory at the Whitehead Institute, recently published findings that could have wide-ranging implica…
 
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