Research Discoveries

For more than three decades, Conquer Cancer has been supporting high-quality clinical and translational research. Read about the projects that are helping to advance progress against cancer.


February 9, 2017

Women With Breast Cancer Who Work For Accommodating Employers More Likely To Retain Jobs After Treatment

Victoria Blinder, MD (2008 Young Investigator Award, 2010 Career Development Award) and researchers from Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center report that lower income women are more than four times as likely to lose their jobs during cancer treatment compared to higher income women..

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January 25, 2017

Researchers Find New Way to Target Blood Stem Cell Cancers

Stephen Chung, MD (2012 Young Investigator Award) and researchers from NYU Langone Medical Center and Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center have designed an antibody that can directly kill stem cells responsible for acute myeloid leukemia (AML) and myelodysplastic syndromes (MDS).

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January 24, 2017

Penn Researchers Help Unravel Mysteries of Pancreatic Cancer’s Resistance to Standard Therapies

Gregory Beatty, MD, PhD (2009 Young Investigator Award) and researchers at the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania discovered that blocking inflammation after radiation therapy led to improved survival in mouse model.

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November 11, 2016

Saha Laboratory Opens Doors to Study Highly Lethal Cancer of the Bile Ducts

Supriya Saha, MD, PhD (2013 Young Investigator Award) has joined world-class scientists in Seattle at the Fred Hutch Cancer Research Center to revolutionize prevention, detection and treatment for cholangiocarcinoma. 

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October 18, 2016

Chemotherapy drives treatment resistance in bladder cancer

Bishoy Faltas, MD (2015 Young Investigator Award) and colleagues at Weill Cornell Medicine and the University of Trento  discovered that urothelial cancer cells mutate following treatment with chemotherapy, and that these mutations provide these tumor cells with an evolutionary advantage to survive chemotherapy. Their study was published today in Nature Genetics

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October 4, 2016

This 8-year-old is free of cancer — for now — after a ‘breakthrough’ treatment

Rebecca Gardner, MD (2013 Career Development Award) and her colleagues at Seattle Children’s Research Institute are modifying  the body’s infection-fighting blood cells to recognize - and fight - cancer.

Read The Washington Post Article    


September 27, 2016

Regulatory RNA Essential to DNA Damage Response

Adam Schmitt, MD (2012 Young Investigator Award) was part of a research team at Stanford University that have discovered a new RNA molecule involved in regulation of the DNA damage response. A paper describing the research was published online Sept. 26 in Nature Genetics

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September 22, 2016

Melanoma Tumors Use Interferon-Gamma Mutations to Fight Immunotherapy 

Jianjun Gao, MD, PhD (2012 Young Investigator Award), at The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, and colleagues reported that melanoma tumors use genetic mutations in a prominent immune response pathway to resist the immunotherapy ipilimumab. The study was published in the journal Cell.

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September 19, 2016

New Immunotherapy for Leukemia Shows Promise in Small Clinical Trial 

Todd A. Fehniger, MD, PhD (2007 Young Investigator Award) and his colleagues at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis provides evidence that the immune system’s “natural killer” cells can be dialed up in the laboratory, trained to recall that activation and then effectively unleashed to destroy cancer cells in some patients.

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August 15, 2016

Gotta catch ‘em all: new cancer type with PIK3CA mutations

Stacey Cohen, MD (2014 Young Investigator Award) and colleagues at University of Washington and Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center reported a newly defined type of colorectal and endometrial cancers that have a high frequency of PIK3CA mutations. The results from their study were recently published in Gastroenterology.

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August 10, 2016

Immune analysis of on-treatment longitudinal biopsies predicts response to melanoma immunotherapy

Sangeetha Reddy, MD (2016 Young Investigator Award) and colleagues The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center reported that immune response measured in tumor biopsies during the course of early treatment predicts which melanoma patients will benefit from specific immune checkpoint blockade drugs, The study was published in the journal Cancer Discovery.

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July 21, 2016

Researchers ID Cancer Gene-Drug Combinations Ripe for Precision Medicine

John Paul Shen, MD (2013 Young Investigator Award) and colleagues at University of California San Diego School of Medicine and Moores Cancer Center discovered 172 drug-gene mutation combinations that can be specifically targeted with personalized cancer therapies. The study was published in Molecular Cell. 

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June 15, 2016

Shorter Radiation Course Recommended for Early-Stage Breast Cancer Patients 

Benjamin Smith, MD (2011 Career Development Award, 2005 Young investigator Award) and colleagues reported that early-stage breast cancer patients receiving a shorter course of whole breast radiation with higher radiation doses per fraction reported equivalent cosmetic, functional and pain outcomes over time as those receiving a longer, lower-dose per fraction course of treatment. Their study was published in Cancer

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