HIV plays a direct role in causing blood cell cancers in rare instances, says a new study of HIV and tumor DNA.…

The spike protein critical for coronavirus research -- and for some COVID-19 vaccines -- slowly…

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Novel prodrug platform enables drug delivery to lymphatic system

Posted 9/30/2020
A team of researchers at the Frederick National Laboratory for Cancer Research (FNL) has developed a nanotechnology platform which targets the lymphatic system, an approach that could provide more effective treatment and therapies against infectious diseases and cancer.

The platform is based on poly(L-lysine succinylated) (PLS) polymer, a biodegradable polymer…

2020 Technology Showcase brings NCI and FNL technologies to a new audience

Posted 9/28/2020
The 2020 Technology Showcase on September 9 brought well over 300 viewers for a half-day of presentations and panels on technology commercialization and collaboration. The annual event once again highlighted the capabilities of the Frederick National Laboratory for Cancer Research (FNL), National Cancer Institute (NCI), and greater Frederick region—but this year, with its…

Research on RAS-driven cancers yields key finding about developmental syndrome also caused by RAS protein

Posted 9/16/2020
By investigating the biological structure of a protein known to cause a genetic skin condition, scientists at the Frederick National Laboratory for Cancer Research validated a decades-old hypothesis about disease implications surrounding the protein’s mutation in a recent study published in Cell Reports.

The RAS Structural Biology team is part of the National…

Sequencing Facility uses cutting-edge technology to make the old new again

Posted 9/10/2020
Just a few years ago, it was difficult to get any meaningful sequence data from formalin-fixed, paraffin-embedded (FFPE) patient samples.

These samples are easy to make and store, so there is a high number of these available. But RNA and DNA degrade over time, with RNA degrading much more easily, making it difficult to produce meaningful data from old or…

AMPL opportunity: Consortium releases first product for faster drug discovery

Posted 8/27/2020
The Accelerating Therapeutics for Opportunities in Medicine (ATOM) Consortium, an initiative that aims to expedite research and development for new medicines, is making headway.

The group recently released its first product: the ATOM Modeling PipeLine (AMPL, pronounced “ample”), an open-source software package that uses data and machine learning to predict…

Adding a second step to CAR T-cell therapy may make it effective against HIV

Posted 8/26/2020
Chimeric antigen receptor or CAR T-cell therapy is FDA approved to treat patients with blood cancers including non-Hodgkins lymphoma and acute lymphoblastic leukemia, whose disease persists or returns following first-line treatments. One reason CAR T-cell therapy is effective is because a patient’s blood contains an abundance of the cancer cells that stimulate the activation…

Serendipitous collaboration leads to potential therapy for liver cancer

Posted 8/16/2020
The old adage that says two heads are better than one certainly seems true for Mitchell Ho, Ph.D., a senior investigator in the Center for Cancer Research (CCR), and Xiaolin Wu, Ph.D., a principal scientist in the Genomics Technology Laboratory, a CCR Core at the Frederick National Laboratory.

A group of killer T cells (green and red) surrounding a…

Nanotechnology Characterization Laboratory supports long-term study evaluating toxicity from nanoparticles

Posted 8/2/2020
The Frederick National Laboratory’s Nanotechnology Characterization Laboratory recently supported a first-of-its-kind study examining whether nanoparticles used for drug delivery, vaccines, and biomedical imaging were toxic over an extended period of time.

The study, led by the Utah Center for Nanomedicine at The University of Utah, looked at the toxicity of…

Analysis of “rapid autopsy” tumor tissue may offer guidance to stop or slow cancer’s spread

Posted 7/27/2020
Results from genomic testing of a cancer patient’s biopsy tissue can help guide treatment decisions, depending on the types of gene mutations found. But as it spreads or stops responding to treatment, the cancer changes and develops new mutations. Insights gained from the biopsy of the primary tumor may no longer be relevant in determining next steps.

To piece…

Compound derived from red algae may protect against Nipah virus

Posted 7/14/2020
A “Swiss army knife” protein that is active against several viruses may also offer some protection against Nipah virus, a lethal pathogen with no cure or vaccine.

The “tool” is griffithsin, a compound extracted from the red algae Griffithsia. A modified version of the protein substantially increased survival rates when administered as a preventative in a live…

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