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New computational models to understand colon cancer

March 29, 2021

Although the development of secondary cancerous growths, called metastasis, is the primary cause of death in most cancers, the cellular changes that drive it are poorly understood. In a new study, published in Genome Biology, researchers at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign have developed a new modeling approach to better understand how tumors become aggressive.


March 29, 2021


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Leading New Directions in Cancer Research: The Unanswered Black Box

March 11, 2021

Hyunjoon Kong (M-CELS leader/EIRH/RBTE), Robert W. Schafer professor of chemical and biomolecular engineering, approaches cancer research from a perspective that integrates cell engineering and biomaterials. The Kong research team has been working with Georgia Tech University and Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) over the past 10 years under the National Science Foundation (NSF) Science and Technology Center Grant.


March 11, 2021


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Advances in Brain Cancer Research Leads to $3M NCI Award

February 25, 2021

Several Cancer Center at Illinois (CCIL) and IGB members are joining forces with scientists from the Mayo Clinic and Georgetown University on an expansive project targeting improved treatment for glioblastoma (GBM), the most aggressive form of brain cancer. The team, led by Brendan Harley (RBTE leader/EIRH), professor of chemical and biomolecular engineering, recently received a $3M grant from the National Cancer Institute (NCI) for their research which will unite the cell biology, bioengineering, and chemistry behind cancer drug development.


February 25, 2021


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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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Personalizing Cancer Diagnostics

August 26, 2020

When assessing whether or not a tumor is benign or cancerous, a needle biopsy is the usual method of diagnosis. The tissue can then be analyzed to determine what mutations are present that are specific to the patient. Because this method is invasive, it’s generally only used once. During and after chemotherapy, imaging tests are used to monitor the size of the tumor; however, imaging only shows the physical characteristics of the tumor – it fails to monitor what is actually happening to the cells.


August 26, 2020


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New compounds block master regulator of cancer growth, metastasis

January 3, 2020

Scientists have developed new drug compounds that thwart the pro-cancer activity of FOXM1, a transcription factor that regulates the activity of dozens of genes. The new compounds suppress tumor growth in human cells and in mouse models of several types of human breast cancer.

The researchers report their findings in the journal NPJ Breast Cancer.


January 3, 2020


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Molecular probe illuminates elusive cancer stem cells in live mice

August 2, 2018

After a primary tumor is treated, cancer stem cells may still lurk in the body, ready to metastasize and cause a recurrence of the cancer in a form that’s more aggressive and resistant to treatment. University of Illinois researchers have developed a molecular probe that seeks out these elusive cells and lights them up so they can be identified, tracked and studied not only in cell cultures, but in their native environment: the body.


August 2, 2018


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Products of omega-3 fatty acid metabolism may have anticancer effects

July 16, 2018

A class of molecules formed when the body metabolizes omega-3 fatty acids could inhibit cancer’s growth and spread, University of Illinois researchers report in a new study in mice. The molecules, called endocannabinoids, are made naturally by the body and have similar properties to cannabinoids found in marijuana – but without the psychotropic effects.


July 16, 2018


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