WVU Cancer Institute’s Dr. Ivan Martinez and his lab will engage in collaborative research with their colleagues at The German Primate Center, part of the Gottingen University-Max Planck Institutes in Germany, later this year.
Dr. Martinez’s research on the role of RNAs in cancer development piqued the interest of Dr. Jens Gruber, professor at The Primate Center and his graduate student Nicolas Lemus, and they invited Martinez to their country recently to give a couple talks about his work at the Cancer Institute. They were especially interested in Martinez’s project related to the discovery of an alternative pathway of microRNA biogenesis. Part of this project was recently published in the Journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS, 2017).
MicroRNAs are small RNA molecules that are very important in the regulation of genes in normal and cancer cells. MicroRNA biogenesis is a process by which these molecules form, reshape and become active in cells. Martinez’s lab discovered a different microRNA biogenesis process in dormant cells, meaning cells that are in a “resting” or “quiescent” state. This discovery is important in the cancer field because understanding in detail this new process could help develop new treatments against dormant cancer stem cells, which are known to be more resistant to cancer therapy and responsible for cancer relapse.
“Nicolas Lemus found our publication on PubMed and realized that our data were the “missing link” that clarified his experimental findings,” Martinez said. “My German colleagues were very happy because our publication helped them put together a better story of their data.”
The collaboration between Gottingen University and the WVU Cancer Institute will begin with a three-month visit by Lemus to the Cancer Institute to learn how to develop specific techniques established in Martinez’s laboratory.
WEB COURSE The Living Beyond Cancer web course offers four 20-minute modules featuring the most up-to-date information on caring for cancer survivors in a primary care setting. The professional education webinar segments are led by Nicole Stout, DPT, CLT-LANA, FAPTA, from the WVU Cancer Institute’s Cancer Prevention and Control and the WVU School of Medicine’s Division of Hematology/Oncology. Dr. Stout is a renowned healthcare researcher, consultant, educator, and advocate. Topics include: Module 1 – Breast Cancer Survivorship: Monitoring for Late Effects Module 2 – Lung Cancer Survivorship: Monitoring for Late Effects Module 3 – Colorectal Cancer Survivorship: Monitoring for Late Effects Module 4 – Using the NCCN Survivorship Guideline to Support Care for Your Patients After Cancer Treatment
Geraldine Jacobson, M.D., MPH, MBA, FACR, FASTRO, has been declared president-elect for the American Society for Radiation Oncology’s board of directors. Starting in October, she’ll serve in that role for one year, then serve as president the year following.
The WVU Cancer Institute has joined the Gynecology Oncology Group (GOG) Foundation network to offer a larger portfolio of clinical trials to its patients.