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Erik Nelson

New approach eradicates breast cancer in mice

July 21, 2021

A new approach to treating breast cancer kills 95-100% of cancer cells in mouse models of human estrogen-receptor-positive breast cancers and their metastases in bone, brain, liver and lungs. The newly developed drug, called ErSO, quickly shrinks even large tumors to undetectable levels.

Led by scientists at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign, the research team reports the findings in the journal Science Translational Medicine.


July 21, 2021


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Cholesterol metabolite induces production of cancer-promoting vesicles

June 9, 2021

Scientists working to understand the cellular processes linking high cholesterol to breast cancer recurrence and metastasis report that a byproduct of cholesterol metabolism causes some cells to send out cancer-promoting signals to other cells. These signals are packaged in membrane-bound compartments called extracellular vesicles.


June 9, 2021


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3D microscopy clarifies understanding of body's immune response to obesity

February 19, 2021

Researchers who focus on fat know that some adipose tissue is more prone to inflammation-related comorbidities than others, but the reasons why are not well understood. Thanks to a new analytical technique, scientists are getting a clearer view of the microenvironments found within adipose tissue associated with obesity. This advance may illuminate why some adipose tissues are more prone to inflammation – leading to diseases like type 2 diabetes, cancer and cardiovascular disorders – and help direct future drug therapies to treat obesity.


February 19, 2021


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Nelson awarded $4.5M to study prevention, treatment of breast cancer

October 30, 2020

Professor of Molecular and Integrative Physiology Erik Nelson (ACPP) has won a $4.5M Era of Hope Scholar Award from the United States Department of Defense (DoD) Breast Cancer Research Program (BCRP). This prestigious award supports individuals early in their careers who have demonstrated significant potential to effect meaningful change in breast cancer research. Recipients of the Era of Hope Scholar Award are leaders and visionaries in their respective field who go beyond conventional thinking to change the current landscape of breast cancer research and therapy.


October 30, 2020


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Cancer compound leads to major licensing deal

October 6, 2020

Researchers affiliated with the Cancer Center at Illinois and the IGB discovered a novel small molecule compound that is now the subject of a new global licensing agreement between the pharmaceutical company Bayer AG and the cancer drug development company Systems Oncology LLC. Systems Oncology originally licensed the IP related to the compound in 2018, and this new deal will now give Bayer the exclusive rights to develop the compound, currently called ERSO, as a cancer therapy.


October 6, 2020


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Cholesterol byproduct hijacks immune cells, lets breast cancer spread

October 13, 2017

High cholesterol levels have been associated with breast cancer spreading to other sites in the body, but doctors and researchers don't know the cause for the link. A new study by University of Illinois researchers found that the culprit is a byproduct of cholesterol metabolism that acts on specific immune cells so that they facilitate the cancer's spread instead of stopping it.


October 13, 2017


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