Cleanup workers and others exposed to radiation from the Chernobyl nuclear accident in 1986 are unlikely…

Chernobyl reactor 4 by Adam Jones from Kelowna, BC, Canada, CC BY-SA 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons

The Frederick National Laboratory for Cancer Research and biotech company…

KRAS in lung cancer. Purple microscopy image.

While the link between certain conditions and cancer risk, such as tobacco smoke exposure and lung cancer, has been…

Closeup of a plastic model of lungs

Results of a recent study suggest how two oncogenic…

A graphic image of a biological structure

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RAS Initiative: An ambitious model eight years in

Posted 8/3/2021
Across the world, conferencing software flicked open on computer screens. It was 8 a.m. in San Francisco, 11 a.m. in Frederick, 5 p.m. in Madrid, 11 p.m. in Hong Kong. The first day of the Third National Cancer Institute RAS Initiative Symposium was about to begin. Time zones notwithstanding, scientists and onlookers were tuning in from offices, studies, and living rooms to…

Study shows disruption to cancer screenings during initial wave of COVID-19 pandemic

Clinical Monitoring Research ProgramPosted 7/26/2021
The initial response to the COVID-19 pandemic disrupted cancer screenings as it caused many countries to suspend services following government guidance and to reallocate screening resources, a new study shows.

“The full impact of the suspension of the screening and what this dynamic is going to mean in cancer in general is still to be seen,” said Douglas…

Collaborative study puts Chernobyl hereditary mutation fears to rest

Posted 7/13/2021
Cleanup workers and others exposed to radiation from the Chernobyl nuclear accident in 1986 are unlikely to pass any genetic damage on to future generations, according to a new study.

“This is good news for the people of Eastern Europe,” said Frederick National Laboratory scientist Meredith Yeager, first author on the multi-institutional study led by Stephen…

Partnership seeks to develop KRAS degraders for cancer therapy

Posted 6/22/2021
The Frederick National Laboratory for Cancer Research and biotech company Progenra, Inc., recently signed a contractor Cooperative Research and Development Agreement (cCRADA) to develop a novel therapy that could be capable of degrading KRAS.



The human KRAS gene is one of the most elusive and potentially promising cancer therapy targets. KRAS…

Genetic twist helps explain unique properties of promising AIDS vaccine

AIDS and Cancer Virus ProgramPosted 5/27/2021
While a unique AIDS vaccine approach had previously shown an encouraging and unprecedented kind of protection against AIDS virus infection in nonhuman primate models, the underlying mechanism for this distinctive form of vaccine protection has remained unclear – until now. New research has provided important insights into understanding how the promising vaccine works.…

VRC01 HIV antibody falls short in trials, but don’t discount antibodies yet

Vaccine Clinical Materials ProgramPosted 5/20/2021
An anti-HIV antibody called VRC01 does not protect people from acquiring HIV, according to findings from the Antibody-Mediated Prevention (AMP) Trials.

The results were recently reported in the New England Journal of Medicine. While they indicate that this antibody alone is not a strong HIV-prevention measure, the data suggest that antibodies remain a…

FNL partnership with LSU Health New Orleans to investigate links between obesity and lung cancer

Posted 5/13/2021
While the link between certain conditions and cancer risk, such as tobacco smoke exposure and lung cancer, has been firmly established, for other conditions, the association and the biological mechanisms behind them remain murky.

To this end, the Frederick National Laboratory for Cancer Research (FNL) and Louisiana State University (LSU) Health Sciences Center…

AIDS research team aims to push boundaries in science and beyond

AIDS and Cancer Virus ProgramPosted 4/29/2021
Researchers are launching a new project aimed at understanding vaginal transmission of HIV and examining what happens in the earliest stages of infection in people with a cervix, who represent about one-fifth of new cases each year.

Christine Fennessey, Ph.D. and Claire Deleage, Ph.D. in the Frederick National Laboratory’s AIDS and Cancer Virus Program received…

Study ‘sheds light’ on critical step in RAS-driven cancers

Posted 4/21/2021
Results of a recent study suggest how two oncogenic proteins—KRAS and RAF kinase—interact, and the structure of this protein-protein complex provides a blueprint for designing new inhibitors that could help prevent RAS-driven cancers.



The KRAS gene provides instructions for making the KRAS protein that is part of a signaling pathway. The protein…

Victor Ssempijja: A data analyst who’s helping to diminish an epidemic

Clinical Monitoring Research ProgramPosted 4/15/2021


Victor Ssempijja remembers there being many fatherless households in his hometown in Uganda during his childhood. In fact, he says he could count the number of complete families on just his fingers. The other fathers had died of HIV and associated complications.

“I actually grew up thinking that men were not supposed to live long,” he said.…

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