Our researchers publish papers in leading scientific journals and are frequently covered in the media. See below for recent samples. For more extensive lists of our members' publications, visit the Meet Our Faculty and Our Programs pages and click on the individuals' names.
April 18, 2016
Nature Cell Biology
Newly Discovered Vulnerability in Breast Tumor Cells Points to Novel Treatment Approach Against Cancer
Cancer cells often devise ways to survive even in the presence of toxic chemotherapy. Now, a research team led by investigators at BIDMC has found a way to attack a process that tumor cells use to escape the effects of standard cancer drugs...
Many targeted therapies in development act on the PI3K/AKT pathway, one of the most frequently aberrantly activated signaling pathways in human cancer cells. The pathway is involved in both tumor development and progression. In their new research, BIDMC’s Alex Toker, PhD (right), Harvard Medical School (HMS) student Evan Lien and colleagues found that in breast cancer cells, abnormal signaling through the PI3K/AKT pathway drives the production of glutathione, a major cellular antioxidant.
March 31, 2016
New Study Implicates Unusual Class of Circular RNAs in Cancer
Cancer cells are notorious for their genomes gone haywire, often yielding fusion proteins — mash-ups of two disparate genes that, once united, assume new and harmful capabilities. Exactly how such genome scrambling impacts RNA, particularly the vast and mysterious world of non-coding RNA, has been largely unexplored. Now, a team led by investigators at BIDMC offers some early answers by studying an intriguing class of non-coding RNAs known as circular RNAs.
“Cancer is essentially a disease of mutated or broken genes, so that motivated us to examine whether circular RNAs, like proteins, can be affected by these chromosomal breaks,” said senior author Pier Paolo Pandolfi, MD, PhD (right) , Director of the Cancer Center at BIDMC and George C. Reisman Professor of Medicine at Harvard Medical School.
March 28, 2016
BIDMC Researchers Discover Early Indicators of Pancreatic Cancer
Pancreatic cancer, the fourth leading cause of cancer death in the United States, is often diagnosed at a late stage, when curative treatment is no longer possible. A team led by investigators at BIDMC has now identified and validated an accurate 5-gene classifier for discriminating early pancreatic cancer from non-malignant tissue. The finding is a promising advance in the fight against this typically fatal disease.
“Pancreatic cancer is a devastating disease with a death rate close to the incidence rate,” said co-senior author Towia Libermann, PhD (right, shown with first author Manoj Bhasin, PhD), Director of the Genomics, Proteomics, Bioinformatics and Systems Biology Center at BIDMC and Associate Professor of Medicine at Harvard Medical School (HMS).
February 28, 2016
New Model of Human Papillary Thyroid Carcinoma Provides Clues to Drug Resistance
A scientific team led by investigators at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center (BIDMC) has developed new experimental models to evaluate targeted therapies for the treatment of papillary thyroid carcinoma (PTC). PTC is the most common type of thyroid cancer, and incidence of the disease is increasing worldwide. The team’s findings, published online in the open-access journal Oncotarget, suggest that combination therapy might offer a new therapeutic strategy for metastatic PTC, were.
“Molecular analysis of this cancer shows that nearly 60 percent of PTC cases contain a mutation called BRAF-V600E,” explained senior author Carmelo Nucera, MD, PhD (right), an investigator in the Department of Pathology at BIDMC. “This mutation increases the cancer’s ability to metastasize, or spread to other organs.”
January 28, 2016
New Insights into PI3K Pathway and Cancer Metabolism
PI3K (phosphoinositide 3-kinase) is a cell-signaling molecule that has now been implicated in a large number of women’s cancers including breast, ovarian and endometrial cancers. New research led by a scientific team at BIDMC provides important insights into the biology underlying PI3K’s The new findings confirm the importance of sugar to cancer cell survival and provide essential new information for the development of PI3K inhibitor drugs as targeted cancer therapies.
“This study demonstrates that PI3K is a master regulator integrating a cancer cell’s architecture and its metabolism,” says corresponding author Gerburg Wulf, MD (right, with first author Hai Hu, PhD), an oncologist in the Cancer Center at BIDMC and Associate Professor of Medicine at Harvard Medical School.
BIDMC Cancer Center