Skip to main content

Carl R. Woese Institute for Genomic Biology

Where Science Meets Society

Molecular probe illuminates elusive cancer stem cells in live mice

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.

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

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.

New NIH-funded research aims to improve prostate cancer outcomes

University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign researchers recently received a $1.8 million grant from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) to develop a new assay technology that could determine the effectiveness of cancer drug treatments and aid in disease prognosis. Led by Illinois Bioengineering Assistant Professor Andrew Smith, the team is focusing on detecting nucleic acid-based biomarkers in a single drop of a cancer patient's blood.

Cancer drug starts clinical trials in human brain-cancer patients

A drug that spurs cancer cells to self-destruct has been cleared for use in a clinical trial of patients with anaplastic astrocytoma, a rare malignant brain tumor, and glioblastoma multiforme, an aggressive late-stage cancer of the brain. This phase Ib trial will determine if the experimental drug PAC-1 can be used safely in combination with a standard brain-cancer chemotherapy drug, temozolomide.

Scientists test nanoparticle drug delivery in dogs with osteosarcoma

At the University of Illinois, an engineer teamed up with a veterinarian to test a bone cancer drug delivery system in animals bigger than the standard animal model, the mouse. They chose dogs – mammals closer in size and biology to humans – with naturally occurring bone cancers, which also are a lot like human bone tumors.

Cancer and Companion Animals Focus of New IGB Theme

Despite dramatic advances in diagnostics and treatment, cancer still accounts for nearly 1 in 4 U.S. deaths, as well as over half of disease-related pet mortality. Using translational approaches to discover new and effective treatments for both is the goal of new research theme Anticancer Discovery from Pets to People (ACPP) at the Carl R. Woese Institute for Genomic Biology. Led by Professor of Chemistry Paul Hergenrother, ACPP will leverage discoveries proved in companion animals such as cats and dogs with cancer to pioneer new drugs and novel targets to treat human cancers.

New synthetic tumor environments make cancer research more realistic

Tumors are notoriously difficult to study in their natural habitat – body tissues – but a new synthetic tissue environment may give cancer researchers the next-best look at tumor growth and behavior.

University of Illinois researchers have developed a new technique to create a cell habitat of squishy fluids, called hydrogels, which can realistically and quickly recreate microenvironments found across biology.

Subscribe to Cancer