A vitally important component of cancer care at the OSUCCC – James is provided by Ohio State’s Department of Radiation Oncology, led by Arnab Chakravarti, MD, department chair. Chakravarti’s lab was among the first to report that the dysregulation of PI3K/AKT signaling is associated with radiation resistance in glioblastomas, the deadliest form of brain cancer.
His team also was the first to identify that dysregulation of PI3K signaling is associated with adverse clinical outcomes in patients with glioblastoma – findings that led to some of the first clinical studies to combine radiotherapy with kinase inhibitors targeting this pathway.
Also within Radiation Oncology at the OSUCCC – James, clinical trials have helped establish standards of care for breast cancer patients, including studies – several of them led by Julia White, MD, a breast cancer physician and radiation oncologist – focused on developing and implementing prone, conformal, partial breast and image-guided therapies to provide more precise radiation technology and tools.
Much exciting research is underway within the OSUCCC – James’ Pelotonia Institute for Immuno-Oncology (PIIO), a comprehensive bench-to-bedside research initiative focused on harnessing the body’s immune system to fight cancer at all levels – from prevention to treatment to survivorship.
Under the leadership of Founding Director Zihai Li, MD, PhD, the PIIO has developed a strategic plan and is recruiting a robust team of faculty scientists with expertise ranging from development of cancer vaccines to bioinformatic and statistical modeling for high throughput immunogenomic screening (technology that enables scientists to screen and analyze thousands of genes simultaneously for links to cancer).
The emerging promise of vaccines to help prevent cancer or its recurrence is exemplified at Ohio State by researchers such as Pravin Kaumaya, PhD, who directs the Peptide and Protein Engineering Laboratory within the OSUCCC – James and the College of Medicine.
Kaumaya and colleagues focus their research on directing patient immune systems to recognize and kill their own cancer cells.
They have utilized peptide vaccine B-cell epitopes to develop a diverse portfolio of patented receptor tyrosine kinase (RTK) cancer vaccines designed to eliminate malignant cells by harnessing the body’s immune system.
The OSUCCC – James also has fruitful collaborations with cancer researchers in Ohio State’s College of Veterinary Medicine (through the work of scientists such as Patrick Green, PhD, associate director for basic sciences at the OSUCCC – James and director of the Center for Retrovirus Research; William Kisseberth, DVM, PhD; and others) and in the College of Engineering.
The list goes on, from Steven Clinton, MD, PhD, and his research of prostate cancer prevention and therapy, as well as projects focusing on diet, nutrition and lifestyle for cancer prevention and survivorship; to William Carson, MD, associate director for clinical research at the OSUCCC – James, and his work in developing clinical trials for patients with advanced breast cancer and melanoma; to Barbara Andersen, PhD, and her studies of the psychological, behavioral and biobehavioral aspects of cancer relating to disease progression; to the groundbreaking work of David O’Malley, MD; David Cohn, MD, MBA; and their colleagues in the Division of Gynecologic Oncology.
Still other exciting and innovative work is continuing by medical scientists within the divisions of Hematology (led by Yiping Yang, MD, PhD), Medical Oncology (led by Claire Verschraegen, MD) and Surgical Oncology (led by Allan Tsung, MD), and in the departments of Cancer Biology and Genetics (led by Philip Tsichlis, MD), Surgery (led by Timothy Pawlik, MD, PhD, MPH) and Pediatrics (located at Nationwide Children’s Hospital [NCH] and led by John Barnard, MD. Timothy Cripe, MD, PhD, leads the Division of Hematology, Oncology and Blood & Marrow Transplant at NCH).
Learn more about the wide spectrum of cancer research and clinical care at the OSUCCC – James.
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