Press Releases and Articles about Cancer Research at Stony Brook




Understanding Epigenetic Changes in Glial Cells May be Key to Combatting Brain Tumors
Study in Cell led by Stony Brook researcher provides unique analysis in a glioma model

Gliomas are incurable brain tumors. Researchers are trying to unlock the mysteries of how they originate from normal cells, which may lead to better treatments. A new study published in the journal Cell centers on epigenetic rather than genetic changes that drive normal cells to form tumors. The work reveals the precise genes that are regulated epigenetically and lead to cancer.

Genes make us who we are in many ways and are central to defining our health. Cancer is often viewed as a disease caused by changes in our genes, thus our DNA. Epigenetics is the study of how behavior, environment, or metabolic changes can cause alterations to the way genes work. Unlike genetic changes, epigenetic changes do not change one’s DNA, and they can be reversed.

Read full article (published 8/15/23)


Stony Brook Researchers Working to Expedite Cancer Care

There were an estimated 18 million cancer cases around the world in 2020. Though treatment methods have improved greatly in recent years, there is still a long way to go in combatting many types of cancer.

“Right now we don’t have a cure for everything,” said Mei Lin (Ete) Chan, an assistant professor in biomedical engineering in the College of Engineering and Applied Sciences.  “But CAR-T cell therapy is a very special cancer treatment with a lot of possibilities.”

Read full article (Published 9/15/22)

Computer Simulations of Proteins Help Unravel Why Chemotherapy Resistance Occurs

Understanding why and how chemotherapy resistance occurs is a major step toward optimizing treatments for cancer.

A team of scientists including Markus Seeliger, from the Stony Brook Cancer Center and Renaissance School of Medicine at Stony Brook University, believe they have found a new process through which drug resistance happens. They are using a computer simulation model that is helping them understand exactly how molecules interact with the cancer drug Imatinib (known as Gleevec) in the chemotherapy resistant process. Imatinib treats chronic myeloid leukemia (CML) highly effectively, yet many late-stage patients experience drug resistance, which renders the drug minimally effective at that stage.

Read full article (Published 6/22/22)

Study of Anti-Cancer Mitochondrial Drug Shows Additional Clinical Promise

A study of the lead agent (CPI-613) in a class of anticancer drugs undergoing Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved clinical trials reveals that CPI-613 is effective against most carcinoma cell lines, and, used in combination, could have efficacy against reducing some tumors.

The research, led by Paul M. Bingham, PhD, of the Department of Biochemistry and Cell Biology in the Renaissance School of Medicine at Stony Brook University, will help advance clinical testing of CPI-613 and similar agents that are designed to disrupt cancer cell mitochondrial metabolism, a complex process that feeds tumor growth. The findings are published in PLOS ONE.

Read the full article (Published: 6/9/22)


Stony Brook Cancer Center Receives Funding Boost to Fight Cancer
In support of its fight against cancer, the Stony Brook Cancer Center has received funding secured in the NY state budget to help the Cancer Center on its journey to attaining National Cancer Institute (NCI)-Designated Cancer Center status. Overall, in the past four budgets, Assemblyman Steve Englebright has secured more than $2.6 million to the Cancer Center for funding major research activities, especially the development of cutting edge clinical trials, during a multi-year application process to the National Institutes of Health (NIH).

Read the full article >   (Published: 5/21/21)

SBU’s Eszter Boros wins $200,000 Discovery Prize for cancer research
And the winner is … Eszter Boros. An Assistant Professor in the Department of Chemistry at Stony Brook University, Boros recently won the 2021 Stony Brook Discovery Prize, which includes $200,000 in new funding.

Read the full article >  (Published: 5/7/21)

KRAS Gene May Drive Immune ‘Evasion’ in Pancreatic Cancer
A new study in Nature Communications takes an initial step toward better understanding how KRAS drives immune evasion and demonstrates a lowering of the KRAS activity resulting in a more favorable immune environment to fight cancer.

Read the full article >  (Published: 3/15/21)

Study Could Lead to Enhanced Therapies for Pancreatic Cancer
If clinicians could stop mutations of the KRAS gene in pancreatic cancer — which happens in more than 90 percent of pancreatic cancer cases and drastically reduces response to immunotherapy — the chances of improving treatment for this deadly form of cancer would be increased. A collaborative study by Stony Brook University scientists, published in Nature Communications, takes an initial step toward better understanding how KRAS drives immune evasion and demonstrates a lowering of the KRAS activity, resulting in a more favorable immune environment to fight cancer.

Read the full article > (Published: 3/11/21)


New Inhibitor Shows Promise Against Metastatic Prostate Cancer
Stony Brook-led team receives $4.2 million NCI grant to advance research
When prostate cancer spreads it is often a deadly disease, but now a Stony Brook University-led research team believes a new approach that inhibits a specific fatty acid binding protein (FABP) may be the key to halting disease progression. Their research results on FABP5 inhibitors as promising therapeutic agents against metastatic prostate cancer led to a new five-year grant from the National Cancer Institute (NCI) totaling $4.2 million to advance the research to 2025.

Lead investigator Iwao Ojima, PhD, Distinguished Professor of Chemistry and Director of the Institute of Chemical Biology and Drug Discovery (ICB&DD), along with colleagues at Stony Brook and Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory, in collaboration with Artelo Biosciences, are investigating FABPs in the treatment of inflammation, pain and against certain cancers, as drug targets themselves or in combination with current chemotherapy treatments.
Read the full article. (Published: 1/29/20)


Creating 3D Digital Pathology to Advance Cancer Research, Diagnostic Practices
Fusheng Wang, PhD, Associate Professor in the Departments of Biomedical Informatics and Computer Science at Stony Brook University and colleagues nationally have received a $1.14 million grant from the National Cancer Institute (NCI) to research 3D computational pathology. The purpose of the research is to work toward revolutionizing digital pathology from 2D to 3D imagery, which would improve the efficiency and accuracy of clinical diagnosis, particularly in the context of cancer.
Read the full article. (Published: 9/23/19)

MicroRNA-based Therapy May Be New Weapon to Combat Cancer
A technology that manipulates microRNAs (miRNAs) developed by Jingfang Ju, PhD, a biochemist and Professor in the Department of Pathology at the Renaissance School of Medicine at Stony Brook University, and colleagues has shown promise when used as anti-cancer therapeutic. The method may prove to be particularly effective against chemotherapy resistant cancers such as colorectal cancer. To advance the science of this method and develop miRNA-based drugs, the technology has been licensed to Curamir Therapeutics Inc., a biotechnology company, through an agreement with the Research Foundation of the State University of New York.
Read the full article. (Published: 9/18/19)

Drug Designed to Treat Metastatic Pancreatic Cancer May Help Extend Life
Clinical Trial Provided at Stony Brook Cancer Center
A drug developed by researchers at the Renaissance School of Medicine at Stony Brook University that targets enzymes involved in the development of pancreatic cancer cells is showing promise for improved treatment of metastatic pancreatic cancer. The drug, called CPI-613 (known as Devimistat), is being combined with the standard chemotherapy regimen (FOLFIRINOX) to treat pancreatic cancer. The Stony Brook Cancer Center has opened a clinical trial with this drug combination to treat patients with metastatic disease.
Read the full article. (Published: 9/3/19)

Research Points Toward New Treatments for Dangerous Triple-Negative Breast Cancer
A Stony Brook-led team of researchers has identified a gene that could offer new hope for treating triple-negative breast cancer, the most aggressive subtype of the disease.

Led by Lori Chan, PhD, Assistant Professor in the Department of Pharmacological Sciences in the Renaissance School of Medicine at Stony Brook University, the researchers have identified a specific gene involved in the cancer stem cell (CSC) population process of triple-negative breast cancer. By blocking this gene’s action, tumor response to chemotherapy is improved. Their findings, published in Cell Death & Disease, illustrate a potential new way to treat incurable triple-negative breast cancer.
Read the full article. (Published: 3/28/19)

Breast Cancer Innovation Fund
Breast Cancer Survivor Supports Further Advances with Gift
Ronald and Rosanne Rogé Breast Cancer Innovation Fund will support pilot projects at Stony Brook Cancer Center
From the start of her treatment at Stony Brook Cancer Center, Rosanne Rogé knew that her journey as a patient with breast cancer to a survivor wasn’t only about her.

“In the beginning,” Rosanne said, “they asked me if they could use my breast tissue for research, and I said of course. Think about the women who went through this before me and who volunteered for breast cancer research, that eventually helped me. In respect for those women, I need to pay it forward.”

Now, Rosanne and her husband, Ron, are doing their part to advance breast cancer research at Stony Brook Medicine through the Ronald and Rosanne Rogé Breast Cancer Innovation Fund. The Fund is designed to give the Breast Cancer program’s leadership the ability and flexibility to incubate and accelerate discoveries, translate seed funding into sustainable funding for researchers’ projects, and acquire cutting-edge technology to further advance breast cancer research. 
Read the full article. (Published 3/20/19)

Study Probes Effect of Anesthesia on Breast Cancer Outcomes
A Stony Brook-led study will investigate where anesthesia management during breast cancer surgery affects long-term patient outcomes
Surgery offers the best hope to cure breast cancer when disease does not spread. However, breast cancer that spreads to distant organs accounts for most of breast cancer deaths. Therefore, researchers continue to investigate how breast cancer metastasizes and what causes or affects disease spread.

Jun Lin, MD, PhD, a Professor in the Department of Anesthesiology at the Renaissance School of Medicine at Stony Brook University, leads a research team studying the effects of anesthetics on metastasis following breast cancer surgery.
Read the full article. (Published: 2/19/19)


Lung Cancer Survivor Rates Higher Using Multidisciplinary Care Model
Published study of more than 4,000 patients reveals better survival compared to standard care
An investigation of short-term and long-term survival outcomes of more than 4,000 lung cancer patients reveals that patients treated under a multidisciplinary model of care have significantly higher survival rates at one, three, five, and 10 years post diagnosis compared to patients treated with a standard or traditional model of care. The study, published online in Clinical Lung Cancer, was conducted by investigators at the Lung Cancer Evaluation Center (LCEC) at Stony Brook Cancer Center.
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Removing the Most Common p53 Mutation in Colorectal Cancer Halts Disease Progression
By genetically manipulating and removing the most common mutant form of the p53 gene that promotes colorectal cancer in humans, an international team of scientists demonstrated that this therapy reduces tumor growth and tissue invasion. Led by Ute Moll, MD, Professor and cancer biologist in the Department of Pathology at Stony Brook University School of Medicine, the findings are published in Cancer Cell.
Read full article

Understanding Breast Cancer – Using Advanced Imaging to Unravel its Molecular Secrets
With breast cancer, the most common form of cancer in women globally, scientists at Stony Brook University, are on a mission to establish how the disease starts and progresses at the detailed molecular level.
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Targeting K17 in Pancreatic Cancer
Drs. Kenneth Shroyer and Luisa Escobar-Hoyos receive $500,000 from PanCAN to advance research
Keratin 17 (K17), a protein that promotes cancer, may prove to be a key target gene in the battle against pancreatic cancer. New research involving K17 as a therapeutic target against this lethal disease is being conducted by Kenneth Shroyer, MD, PhD, the Marvin Kuschner Professor and Chair of Pathology at Stony Brook Medicine, and Luisa Escobar-Hoyos, PhD, Assistant Professor and Co-Director of the Pathology Translational Research Lab. The Pancreatic Cancer Action Network (PanCAN) awarded Drs. Shroyer and Escobar-Hoyas a $500,000 grant to carry out this research. This is the first time a PanCAN grant has been awarded to Stony Brook University. The two-year award will begin July 1, 2018.
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New Non-Invasive Test For Urothelial Cancer Emerging
Urothelial cancers of the bladder and upper urinary tract are among the most common cancers encountered worldwide. In the United States, urothelial cancers are among the most costly cancers to treat. With early diagnosis, followed by surgery, most urothelial cancers can be cured. Now an international team of cancer researchers including Kate Dickman, PhD, of the Department of Pharmacological Sciences and Medicine/Nephrology at Stony Brook University School of Medicine have developed a highly sensitive and specific non-invasive test as a biomarker for early detection of urothelial cancers. Details of this method known as UroSEEK, are published in eLife.
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Images of Polyps Plus Tissue Data May Help Predict Cancer
By using computed tomography colonography (CTC), also known as virtual colonoscopy, to image many types of polyps, and matching those images to detailed gene expression data of those polyps, researchers may be able to determine what types of polyps will turn into cancer and which may not.
Read full article

For more Stony Brook University and Stony Brook Medicine news articles published in 2018, click here.


Stony Brook Cancer Center Receives New Dose of Philanthropy
Cancer Prevention Fellowship Established with $1 Million Endowment from George and Olga Tsunis

As a symbol of their shared commitment to fighting cancer and as a nod to their great pride in their Greek ancestry, George and Olga Tsunis have established an endowed fellowship for an MD or PhD pursuing biomedical research at the Stony Brook Cancer Center. The Tsunis Fellowship for Cancer Prevention has been created to attract a well-qualified scholar from Greece or of Greek decent, with the goal of training these physicians and scientists at Stony Brook, and then returning them to Greece to help the country overcome its current difficulties. 

The George and Olga Tsunis Fellow will learn the process of how new and novel drugs can be developed for the treatment of cancer. Such knowledge could be applied in Greece to improve the treatment of cancer patients; conduct clinical trials of new drugs; and foster academia-pharmaceutical industry interactions on drug development. 
Read more

$8 Million Grant Awarded to Further Cancer Research

Today, the war against cancer is being fought in new ways, with technology among the weapons on the front lines.

Recently, the National Cancer Institute (NCI) awarded Stony Brook Medicine’s Joel Saltz, MD, PhD, together with a team of researchers from the University of Arkansas and Emory University, an $8 million grant. The team will use the grant over the next five years to develop a combined radiology/pathology data collection that will enable research to help develop new diagnostics and novel ways to steer cancer treatment. Dr. Saltz is leading the pathology component of the project.

Yusuf Hannun, MD, Director of the Stony Brook Cancer Center, Vice Dean for Cancer Medicine and Joel Strum Kenny Professor in Cancer Research, believes the collaboration has great potential.

“This is a very important effort that builds on several areas of outstanding strengths at the Cancer Center,” said Dr. Hannun.
Read more (published Dec. 2017)

For more Stony Brook University and Stony Brook Medicine news articles published in 2017, click here.


Patricia Thompson-Carino, PhD, Named Deputy Director for Research

Patricia Thompson-CarinoYusuf A. Hannun, MD, Director of the Stony Brook Cancer Center, Vice Dean for Cancer Medicine, and the Joel Kenny Professor of Medicine, has announced the appointment of Patricia Thompson, PhD, to the position of Deputy Director for Research at Stony Brook Cancer Center. In her new role, Dr. Thompson will oversee all research activities in the Cancer Center, as well as develop overall strategic plans for the Cancer Center in conjunction with Dr. Hannun and Samuel Ryu, MD, Deputy Director, Clinical Affairs, Cancer Center.

Dr. Thompson joined Stony Brook in 2014 as Professor of Pathology and Associate Director for Basic Research in the Cancer Center. Her research is focused primarily on the discovery and validation of biomarkers to identify individuals at greatest risk for cancer recurrence. 

Dr. Thompson leads a nationally prominent research program that concentrates on the evolution of molecular and cellular changes that occur during the development of colorectal and breast cancer. Because those cancers both have an inflammatory component and an immune element, the research explores what is shared by them that could be common targets for prevention and treatment. 

“Our goal is to help advance the development of more precise and effective targeted therapies,” said Dr. Thompson. “The better we understand the way cancer progresses, the better we will be at discovering methodologies for treating patients with cancer.”

The author of more than 100 important research manuscripts, Dr. Thompson is a member of a number of national grant review panels, and has served as principal investigator for several research grants from the National Cancer Institute (NCI). 

“Dr. Thompson has an outstanding track record of achievements, and since joining Stony Brook she has taken on significant leadership roles,” said Dr. Hannun. “She brings special and unique abilities in the war against cancer, and will help the Cancer Center continue to push the envelope in diagnosis, treatment and prevention.”

For more Stony Brook University and Stony Brook Medicine news articles published in 2016, click here.


Strategic and Collaborative Approach to Lung Cancer Research (July 2015)

Researcher Publishes Findings on Nuclear Medicine Test for Patients with Cancer 

Dr. Choi Co-Authors Article on FDG-PET for Colorectal Cancer 

Research Cautions On False Positives For Cancer With PET Scans (6/29/15)

Virtual Pancreatography Research Receives Funding from Marcus Foundation (6/16/15)

Stony Brook Enters Licensing Deal to Bring Anti-Cancer Technology to Market  (6/15/15)

Removing Mutant p53 Significantly Regresses Tumors, Improves Cancer Survival (5/26/15)

Toward Mentoring Excellence, Stony Brook University Commits Resources to SU2C (3/25/15) 

Cancer Center Advances Research Program with New Pathology Expertise (1/6/15)

For more Stony Brook University and Stony Brook Medicine news articles published in 2015, click here.