eNewsletter - Education and Research

Virus kills triple negative breast cancer cells, tumor cells in mice

A virus not known to cause disease kills triple negative breast cancer cells and killed tumors grown from these cells in mice, according to Penn State College of Medicine researchers.

Adeno-associated virus type 2 (AAV2) infects humans but is not known to cause sickness. In prior studies, the researchers tested the virus on a variety of breast cancers that represent degrees of aggressiveness and on human papillomavirus-positive cervical cancer cells. The virus initiated apoptosis–natural cell death–in cancer cells without affecting healthy cells.

"Treatment of breast cancer remains difficult because there are multiple signaling pathways that promote tumor growth and develop resistance to treatment," said Craig Meyers, Ph.D., Distinguished Professor of Microbiology and Immunology. Click here to read more.

Click here to watch an interview with Dr. Meyers and ABC27's Alicia Richards.

Pine bark substance could be potent melanoma drug

A substance that comes from pine bark is a potential source for a new treatment of melanoma, according to Penn State College of Medicine researchers.

Current melanoma drugs targeting single proteins can initially be effective, but resistance develops relatively quickly and the disease recurs. In these instances, resistance usually develops when the cancer cell's circuitry bypasses the protein that the drug acts on, or when the cell uses other pathways to avoid the point on which the drug acts.

"To a cancer cell, resistance is like a traffic problem in its circuitry," said Gavin Robertson, Ph.D., professor of pharmacology, pathology, dermatology, and surgery and director of Penn State Hershey Melanoma Center. "Cancer cells see treatment with a single drug as a road closure and use a detour or other roads to bypass the closure."

Click here to read more.

Faculty Awards (May–July 2014)

Investigator Research Sponsor
Chandra Belani A Randomized, Double-blind, Placebo-controlled, Phase 2 Clinical Trial of Drug A (MLN8237) in Combination with Paclitaxel Versus Placebo in Combination with Paclitaxel as Second-Line Therapy for NSCLC Millennium Pharmaceuticals
David Claxton A Phase 1/2 Open-label, Dose Escalation Study Investigating the Safety, Tolerability, Pharmacokinetics, and Pharmacodynamics of ASP2215 Astellas Pharma US, Inc.
James Connor Glioblastoma Therapy through Ferritin Targeting The Cleveland Clinic
Sinisa Dovat Therapeutic effect of Casein kinase II (CK2) inhibitors in childhood acute myeloid leukemia (AML) St. Baldrick's Foundation
John Flanagan Investigating HIV Gag:RNA interactions and their implications for capsid assembly University of Michigan
David Goldenberg Mutational Analysis of Thyroid Cancer in a Large Medical Center in the Vicinity of Three Mile Island George Laverty Foundation
Sang Lee Testing Sponsor Compounds on GBM Cell Lines and Intracranial Brain Tumor Mouse Model Opal Oncology Limited
George Moldovan Preservation of Genetic Stability during DNA Replication Concern Foundation

Faculty Publications (May–July 2014)

  1. Campos-Sánchez R, Kapusta A, Feschotte C, Chiaromonte F, Makova KD. (2014). Genomic Landscape of Human, Bat, and Ex Vivo DNA Transposon Integrations.  Mol Biol Evol.  Epub ahead of print.
  2. Condamine T, Kumar V, Ramachandran IR, Youn JI, Celis E, Finnberg N, El-Deiry WS, Winograd R, Vonderheide RH, English NR, Knight SC, Yagita H, McCaffrey JC, Antonia S, Hockstein N, Witt R, Masters G, Bauer T, Gabrilovich DI. (2014). ER stress regulates myeloid-derived suppressor cell fate through TRAIL-R-mediated apoptosis.  J Clin Invest, 124(6):2626-2639.
  3. Doi K, Liu Q, Gowda K, Barth BM, Claxton D, Amin S, Loughran TP Jr, Wang HG. (2014).  Maritoclax induces apoptosis in acute myeloid leukemia cells with elevated Mcl-1 expression.  Cancer Biol Ther.  Epub ahead of print.
  4. Fu Y, Nath RG, Dyba M, Cruz IM, Pondicherry SR, Fernandez A, Schultz CL, Yang P, Pan J, Desai D, Krzeminski J, Amin S, Christov PP, Hara Y, Chung FL. (2014).  In vivo detection of a novel endogenous etheno-DNA adduct derived from arachidonic acid and the effects of antioxidants on its formation.  Free Radic Biol Med, 73C:12-20.
  5. Gandhi UH, Kaushal N, Hegde S, Finch ER, Kudva AK, Kennett MJ, Jordan CT, Paulson RF, Prabhu KS. (2014).  Selenium suppresses leukemia through the action of endogenous eicosanoids.  Cancer Res.  Epub ahead of print.
  6. Hait WN, Versele M, Yang JM. (2014).  Surviving metabolic stress: of mice (squirrels) and men.  Cancer Discov, 4(6):646-9.
  7. Kraschnewski JL, Chuang CH, Poole ES, Peyton T, Blubaugh I, Pauli J, Feher A, Reddy M. (2014).  Paging "Dr. Google": does technology fill the gap created by the prenatal care visit structure? Qualitative focus group study with pregnant women.  J Med Internet Res, 16(6):e147.
  8. Kraschnewski JL, Sciamanna CN, Ciccolo JT, Rovniak LS, Lehman EB, Candotti C, Ballentine NH. (2014).  Is exercise used as medicine? Association of meeting strength training guidelines and functional limitations among older US adults.  Prev Med. Epub ahead of print.
  9. Kukic I, Kelleher SL, Kiselyov K. (2014).  Zinc efflux through lysosomal exocytosis prevents zinc-induced toxicity.  J Cell Sci.  Epub ahead of print.
  10. Miller BA, Hoffman NE, Merali S, Zhang XQ, Wang J, Rajan S, Shanmughapriya S, Gao E, Barrero CA, Mallilankaraman K, Song J, Gu T, Hirschler-Laszkiewicz I, Koch WJ, Feldman AM, Madesh M, Cheung JY. (2014).  TRPM2 channels protect against cardiac ischemia-reperfusion injury: role of mitochondria.  J Biol Chem, 289(11):7615-29.
  11. Richie JP, Das A, Calcagnotto A, Sinha R, Neidig W, Liao J, Lengerich EJ, Berg A, Hartman TJ, Ciccarella A, Baker A, Kaag MG, Goodin S, DiPaola RS, El-Bayoumy K. (2014).  Comparative effects of two different forms of selenium on oxidative stress biomarkers in healthy men: a randomized clinical trial.  Cancer Prev Res.  Epub ahead of print.
  12. Rogers CJ, Prabhu KS, Vijay-Kumar M. (2014). The microbiome and obesity-an established risk for certain types of cancer.  Cancer J, 20(3):176-80.
  13. Ursell LK, Haiser HJ, Van Treuren W, Garg N, Reddivari L, Vanamala J, Dorrestein PC, Turnbaugh PJ, Knight R. (2014).  The intestinal metabolome: an intersection between microbiota and host.  Gastroenterology;146(6):1470-6.
  14. Vasekar M, Liu X, Zheng H, Belani CP. (2014).  Targeted immunotherapy for non-small cell lung cancer. World J Clin Oncol, 5(2):39-47.
  15. Yee NS, Li Q, Kazi AA, Yang Z, Berg A, Yee RK. (2014).  Aberrantly Over-Expressed TRPM8 Channels in Pancreatic Adenocarcinoma: Correlation with Tumor Size/Stage and Requirement for Cancer Cells Invasion.  Cells, 3(2):500-16.

Zhu B, Ferry CH, Markell LK, Blazanin N, Glick AB, Gonzalez FJ, Peters JM. (2014). The nuclear receptor PPARß/d promotes oncogene-induced cellular senescence through repression of endoplasmic reticulum stress.  J Biol Chem. Epub ahead of print.