Blocking CXCR4 alleviates desmoplasia, increases T-lymphocyte infiltration, and improves immunotherapy in metastatic breast cancer

Drug approved for lymphoma and multiple myeloma may reduce fibrosis and immunosuppression

MGH press release

PNAS web page

Study reveals how brain tumors escape the effects of antiangiogenic drugs

Tumor co-option of existing blood vessels may be a new treatment target

MGH press release

PNAS web site

Animated Summary


Antihypertension drug losartan may improve treatment of ovarian cancer

MGH study reveals how solid stress from brain tumors causes neuronal loss, neurologic dysfunction

A Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH)-led research team has demonstrated, for the first time, how solid stress – the physical forces exerted by the solid components of a tumor – impacts the tissue surrounding brain tumors and contributes to resulting neurological dysfunction and neuronal cell death. In their report published in Nature Biomedical Engineering, the investigators identify characteristics of tumors most likely to impose solid stress, describe a potential way of distinguishing patients with such tumors, and identify the neuroprotective drug lithium as a promising treatment strategy

See the MGH press release here

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Metastatic lymph nodes can be the source of distant metastases in mouse models of cancer

If confirmed in human patients, findings could indicate the need to treat lymph node metastases

A study by Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH) investigators finds that, in mouse models, cancer cells from metastatic lymph nodes can escape into the circulation by invading nodal blood vessels, leading to the development of metastases in other parts of the body. Their report appearing in the March 23 issue of Science adds evidence to the debate regarding the role of lymph node metastases in the spread of cancer. 

Article in Science ...

Adding crizotinib to radiation therapy may help preserve hearing in patients with NF2

Cancer drug targets molecular pathway contributing to tumor progression, radiation-induced hearing loss

Immunosuppression underlies resistance to anti-angiogenic therapy

“Deciphering and targeting mechanisms involved in resistance to anti-angiogenic therapy is critical to realizing the full potential of this promising cancer therapy,” says Dai Fukumura, MD, PhD, deputy director of the Steele Labs, co-senior author of the paper. “Not only is this the first report investigating the role in anti-angiogenic cancer therapy of a subset of innate immune cells – Ly6Clowor non-classical monocytes – it is also the first to find an immunosuppressive function for these cells and to identify that as the key mechanism conferring resistance to anti-angiogenic therapy.” 

Lymph node metastases may not always be the source of cancer's spread to other organs

"What did the lymph nodes show?" is the question whose answer is apprehensively awaited by every colon cancer patient. Even in the age of molecular medicine, the absence or presence of colon cancer spread to regional lymph nodes remains the strongest predictor of whether surgery has cured the cancer, or whether an individucal may harbor occult metastatic disease and thus require adjuvant chemotherapy to reduce the risk of lethal cancer metastasese recurring in distant organs.

Press release ... 
Editorial in Science ...

Rakesh K. Jain receives National Medal of Science at the White House