News and Events
- August 2022 Cancer Center investigators published an exciting new paper describing a novel approach to treating cancers that use the alternative lengthening of telomeres (ALT) mechanism to grow. Data in the paper show strong activity of the p53 reactivating drug APR-246 against human ALT neuroblastomas, sarcomas, and breast cancers grown in special mice. The publication is: Cancer Research 82:3345-3358, 2022. PMID: 35947641.
- September 2022 Dr. Min Kang received a 5 year, $3.3 million grant from the Cancer Prevention & Research Institute of Texas (CPRIT) to support the West Texas Pharmacology Core. This is a pharmacology core laboratory located at TTUHSC that supports preclinical and clinical research for multiple academic institutions and small biotech companies in Texas.
- January 2022 The TTUHSC Cancer Center received a 5 year, $1.9 million grant from the National Cancer Institute entitled “Targeting Shared Vulnerabilities in Alternate Telomere Lengthening (ALT) Cancers”. RO1 CA264949, PI: C Patrick Reynolds, MD PhD.
- September 2021 The TTUHSC Cancer Center received a 5 year, $1.9 million grant from the National Cancer Institute entitled “Robust assays to define telomere maintenance mechanisms as cancer biomarkers ”. UO1 CA263988, PI: C Patrick Reynolds, MD PhD.
- August 2021 The TTUHSC Cancer Center received a 5 year, $6 million grant from the Cancer Prevention & Research Institute of Texas entitled “Texas Regional Excellence in Cancer Developmental Therapeutics Center at TTUHSC”. CPRIT RP20042, PI: C Patrick Reynolds, MD PhD. This grant involves multiple investigators in the TTUHSC School of Medicine and TTUHSC School of Pharmacy, including Min Kang, PharmD, Barry Maurer, MD PhD, Scot Trasti, DVM, Yangzom Bhutia, DVM, V. Ganapathy, PhD, Nadezhda German, PhD, Thomas Abbruscato PhD, Chinnadurai Mani, PhD, Komaraiah Palle, PhD, Devin Lowe, PhD, and Sanjay Srivastava, PhD. This grant will support recruiting new investigators in cancer drug development to TTUHSC.
- August 2021 TTUHSC Cancer Center investigators published a paper in Science Translational Medicine demonstrating that ATM kinase is activated in neuroblastomas with the alternate lengthening of telomere (ALT) phenotype and that an ATM kinase inhibitor can reverse drug resistance in ALT neuroblastoma cell lines and xenografts. Koneru B, Farooqi A, Nguyen TH, Chen WH, Hindle A, Eslinger C, Makena MR, Burrow TA, Wilson J, Smith A, Reddy VP, Cadogan E, Durant ST, Reynolds CP: ALT neuroblastoma chemoresistance due to ATM-dependent telomere dysfunction is reversible with the ATM inhibitor AZD015. Science Translational Medicine 18:eabd5750, 2021. PMID: 35508079
- April 2020 TTUHSC Cancer Center investigators published a paper in Cancer Research that demonstrates telomere maintenance mechanisms provide a novel approach to risk-stratification of high-risk neuroblastoma. Koneru B, Lopez G, Farooqi A, Conkrite KL, Nguyen TH, Macha S, Modi A, Rokita JL, Urias E , Hindle A, Davidson H , Mccoy K, Nance J, Yezdani V, Shengping S, Wheeler DA , Maris JM, Diskin SJ, Reynolds CP: Telomere maintenance mechanisms define clinical outcome in high-risk neuroblastoma. Cancer Research 80:2663-75, 2020. PMID: 32291317
- May 2020 TTUHSC Cancer Center investigators published a paper in Cell Death & Disease that demonstrates the transcription factor OCT4 mediates MYC transcriptional activation and causes resistance to 13-cis-retinoic acid in neuroblastoma. This paper also describes a novel mechanism for the activation of MYC that likely applies to other cancer types. Wei SJ, Nguyen TH, Mook DG, Makena MR, Verlekar D, Hindle A, Martinez G, Yang S, Shimada H, Reynolds CP, Kang MH: MYC transcription activation mediated by OCT4 as a mechanism of resistance to 13-cisRA-mediated differentiation in neuroblastoma. Cell Death & Disease, 11:368, 2020 PMID: 32409685 PMCID: PMC7224192
- Jan 2019: Drs. Min Kang and C Patrick Reynolds were awarded a 5 year $1.9 million RO1 grant (CA232591) from the National Cancer Institute to study MYC activation mechanisms in neuroblastoma.
Aug 2018: Dr. Sanjay Awasthi, Program Director for Clinical Oncology in the Cancer Center, was awarded a 3 year $1.1 million grant from the Department of Defense to study haploinsufficiency of RALBP1 in breast cancer.
Aug 2018: Dr. C Patrick Reynolds was awarded a 5 year RO1 $1.7 million grant (CA21751) from the National Cancer Institute to study alternate telomere lengthening mechanisms in neuroblastoma as a prognostic biomarker and a novel therapeutic target.
- May 2018: Bala Koneru, a PhD student in Dr. Reynolds laboratory was selected to present his work on telomerase and alternate telomere lengthening (ALT) in neuroblastoma as a plenary session talk at the Advances in Neuroblastoma Research Meeting San Francisco, CA .
- January 2018: Alex's Lemonade Stand Foundation has awarded a grant providing 5 years of support for the Childhood Cancer Repository, powered by Alex's Lemonade Stand Foundation that is housed in the TTUHSC Cancer Center (www.CCcells.org). This laboratory, in collaboration with the Children's Oncology Group, establishes, banks, and distributes childhood cancer cell lines and patient-derived xenografts (PDXs) to > 450 laboratories in 21 countries. The outstanding commitment of ALSF to this important repository will insure it continues to be an important resource lab for the COG and for many pediatric oncology investigators world-wide.
- December 2017: C Patrick Reynolds MD PhD and Min Kang PharmD were awarded a $1.6 million grant from the National Cancer Institute entitled Genomic and functional characterization of a panel of neuroblastoma patient-derived xenografts and cell lines. This grant will enable extensive characterization of large panel of neuroblastoma models that are established, banked, and distributed by the Childhood Cancer Repository, which is housed at TTUHSC and is in collaboration with ALSF and COG.
- November 2017: St Baldricks has again awarded to the TTUHSC Cancer Center an infrastructure grant to support conduct of clinical trials in childhood cancer. The grant supports a clinical research associate who is part of the team providing access to clinical trials for children in our region and also making clinical trials of novel agents available to many institutions via the SPOC consortium (www.SPONC.org).
- September 2017: It's September and the ALSF Million Mile event is on again. Please join Cellbusters which is the team from our Cancer Center, via this link below. Log a lot of miles and help us raise some funds.
- September 2017: TTUHSC Cancer Center included in the Cancer Prevention and Research Institute of Texas (CPRIT) recognition of childhood cancer experts.
- Jun 2017: A paper describing a collaboration between Dr. C Patrick Reynolds and investigators in Australia led by Dr. Roger Reddel was published in Cell Reports. The paper reports that some neuroblastoma cell lines established from patients with progressive disease can proliferate for many generations of cells with no demonstrable mechanism for maintaining telomeres. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/28636942
- April 2017: TTUHSC Cancer Center faculty member Dr. Barry Maurer was senior author on a paper in Clinical Cancer Research reporting results from a phase I trial of intravenous fenretinide in adults with hematological cancers. The paper documents remarkable activity of intravenous fenretinide in peripheral T cell lymphomas, with multiple sustained complete responses observed. The phase I study led to an ongoing phase II study of intravenous fenretinide in peripheral T cell lymphomas. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/28420721
- April 2017: Dr. Monish Makena, who just completed his PhD studies in Dr. Reynolds laboratory published a paper in Molecular Cancer Therapeutics demonstrating synergy in cell culture and enhanced anti-cancer activity from combining the cytotoxic retinoid fenretinide with the histone deacetylase (HDAC) inhibitor romidepsin in lymphoid malignancies, especially in T cell lymphomas and leukemias. This paper informs potential future drug combination clinical trials. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/27530131
Older News Archives
2016 News Archives
- December 2016: The Cancer Prevention & Research Institute (CPRIT) awarded 2 grants to TTUHSC Cancer Center Faculty. CPRIT awarded to Dr. Min Kang a $1,115,137 grant entitled OCT4/c-MYC axis as a mechanism of resistance to 13-cis retinoic acid in neuroblastoma. A $1,058,246 grant was awarded to Dr. C Patrick Reynolds entitled: Telomere Maintenance Mechanisms in Neuroblastoma.
- July 2016: The Department of Defense (DOD) has awarded to Dr. C Patrick Reynolds a $247,269 grant entitled: Novel Platinum/Taxane-Based Drug Combinations (Preclinical) for Ovarian Cancer. This grant supports preclinical xenograft studies on novel drug combinations in models of ovarian cancer.
- February 2016: Dr Robert Bright and Dr. Min Kang, both members of the Cancer Center in the TTUHSC School of Medicine have just received word from the Dean that they are promoted to rank of Professor.
2015 News Archives
- May 2015: C Patrick Reynolds, MD PhD, Director of the TTUHSC SOM Cancer Center had the pleasure of visiting with the children of Littlefield Primary School to celebrate the completion of their amazing fund raising efforts for the Children's Neuroblastoma Cancer Foundation (CNCF). Dr. Reynolds was asked to represent the CNCF at the event as he is a member of their Medical & Scientific Advisory Board. The Littlefield students raised $2,106.50 this year, and all funds went directly to the CNCF to help with their great work supporting families of children with neuroblastoma and research on neuroblastoma. View last year's video of the amazing Littlefield children and teachers here: http://www.kcbd.com/story/25033353/littlefield-students-raise-over-1300-for-cancer-research.
- April 2015: KTTZ's documentary "Life. Hope. Courage: Stories of Cancer" premiered during a special event at The Texas Tech Health Sciences Center. "Life. Hope. Courage" is the story of the people who show courage in their fight, hope in their resiliency, and celebrate life. A panel and town hall discussion was held after the film. The panel was moderated by Health Sciences Center President Tedd Mitchell, M.D.
2014 News Archives
- Dr. Kang's paper Bcl-2 inhibitors: Targeting mitochondrial apoptotic pathways in cancer therapy. Clinical Cancer Research 15:1126-1132, 2009. (PMCID: PMC3182268) has been cited 500 times. It was the most cited paper in Clinical Cancer Research in 2009, and it has continued to be cited since 2009. Clinical Cancer Research ranks 5th of all journals in Oncology. Dr. Kang's paper is the 2nd most cited paper in Clinical Cancer Research of all papers published in that journal in the last 5 years.
- St. Baldrick's has once again provided a generous grant to the TTUHSC Cancer Center to support clinical research associates that assist with pediatric oncology clinical trials. We are most grateful to St Baldrick's for their support of pediatric oncology clinical trials.
- Oct 1st: School of Medicine, Red Raider cross country join forces for ALSF. The School of Medicine Cancer Center at Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center (TTUHSC) received a three year grant from Alex's Lemonade Stand Foundation (ALSF) to support the Children's Oncology Group Cell Line and Xenograph Repository. During National Childhood Cancer Awareness Month, the School of Medicine Cancer Center also partnered with the Texas Tech University cross country team in its effort to journey one million miles for ALSF. Read the full story at the Daily Dose.
- Oct 1st: Alex's Lemonade Stand Foundation (www.alexslemonade.org) which generously supports the COG Cell Line and Xenograft Repository housed at the TTUHSC SOM Cancer Center sponsored the Alex's Million Mile event for Childhood Cancer Month (Sept). Participants in the event log miles running, walking, cycling during Sept with a goal to reach a million miles for childhood cancer awareness. This year over 800,000 miles were logged. Teams can log miles that bring in contributions per mile for research groups and labs, and Team Cell Busters was formed to support the COG Cell Line and Xenograft Repository (www.COGcell.org), which is located in the TTUHSC SOM Cancer Center. COGcell grows childhood cancer cells in the lab and provides these research models to investigators in 15 countries. Cellbusters logged 15324.8 miles, aided greatly by the Texas Tech Cross Country team being part of this event.
- Oct 1st: Dr. Mohamad Al-Rahawan has joined TTUHSC as Division Head, Pediatric Hematology-Oncology. Dr. Al-Rahawan comes to us from the St. Jude Midwest Affiliate and The University of Illinois College of Medicine at Peoria.
- Sept 1st: Alex's Lemonade Stand Foundation (www.alexslemonade.org) has provided a generous 3 year grant to the TTUHSC School of Medicine Cancer Center to support the COG Cell Line and Xenograft Repository (www.COGcell.org), which is located in the TTUHSC SOM Cancer Center. COGcell grows childhood cancer cells in the lab and provides these research models to investigators in 15 countries.
- The Cancer Prevention & Research Institute of Texas (CPRIT), has awarded Dr. Min Kang, head of the Cancer Center Pharmacology Program an individual investigator grant to conduct pharmacokinetic and pharmacogenomics studies in children with cancer. This grant expands ongoing studies Dr. Kang is carrying out together with the Children's Oncology Group and the New Approaches to Neuroblastoma Therapy (NANT) consortium.
- C Patrick Reynolds, MD PhD, Director of the TTUHSC SOM Cancer Center had the pleasure of visiting with the children of Littlefield Primary School to celebrate the completion of their amazing fund raising efforts for the Children's Neuroblastoma Cancer Foundation (CNCF). Dr. Reynolds was asked to represent the CNCF at the event as he is a member of their Medical & Scientific Advisory Board. All funds raised by the Littlefield students went directly to the CNCF to help with their great work supporting families of children with neuroblastoma and research on neuroblastoma. View a video of the amazing Littlefield children and teachers here: http://www.kcbd.com/story/25033353/littlefield-students-raise-over-1300-for-cancer-research
- Dr. Barry Maurer has activated a new clinical trial in the South Plains Oncology Consortium (SPOC) for patients with high-risk neuroblastoma. As a result of his recent publication describing the clinical activity in high-risk neuroblastoma of the novel LXS oral powder fenretinide formulation that Dr. Maurer developed, Dr. Maurer (who sponsors the Investigational New Drug Application with the Food & Drug Administration for this new drug) and the FDA determined that it was appropriate to have a clinical study providing compassionate access to this new drug for children with recurrent neuroblastoma. This clinical trial is not designed to collect research data but rather to provide access for an active drug to children in need. Physicians, patients, or families can contact the SPOC operations office to learn more about this clinical trial.
- The South Plains Oncology Consortium (SPOC) has begun entering patients on its latest pediatric oncology phase I trial which tests a novel nanoliposomal irinotecan (MM-398) developed by Merrimack Pharmaceuticals in children with recurrent solid tumors. The trial was based on preclinical work done at the TTUHSC SOM Cancer Center by Drs Kang and Reynolds. The study chair for the SPOC study of MM-398 is Dr. Paul Harker-Murray of Midwest Children's Cancer Center.
- St. Baldrick's has awarded a Pediatric Oncology Infrastructure Grant to Dr. C Patrick Reynolds, Director of the TTUHSC SOM Cancer Center. This grant will support clinical research associates who are essential for managing data and sample flow for children entered onto pediatric oncology clinical trials.
2013 News Archives
- Dr. Maurer, together with Dr. Kang, Dr. Reynolds, other investigators and the New Approaches to Neuroblastoma Therapy (NANT) consortium has published in Pediatric Blood & Cancer the results of the NANT phase I trial of oral powder LXS fenretinide. This version of fenretinide was developed by Dr. Maurer, Dr. Reynolds of TTUHSC and Dr. Walt Shaw and Stephen Burgess at Avanti Polar Lipids based on drug delivery technology invented by the late Dr. David Yesair of Biomolecular Products. This form of fenretinide is designed specifically for children and obtains much higher blood levels than previous oral forms of the drug. The trial, led by Dr. Maurer, documented higher blood levels of fenretinide in children and 4 complete responses in patients with high-risk neuroblastoma. The trial is continuing, seeking to further improve the blood levels of fenretinide by inhibiting drug metabolism using the drug ketoconazole.
- Dr. Min Kang, head of the Cancer Center Pharmacology Program, received an RO1 grant from the National Cancer Institute to support pharmacokinetic and pharmacogenomics studies of the drug 13-cis-retinoic acid in children with neuroblastoma. This study is a collaboration between Dr. Kang and the Children's Oncology Group, and is one of the largest, if not the largest pharmacokinetic clinical study in children with cancer ever undertaken.
- The Evan Foundation has awarded a generous grant to Dr. Barry Maurer, Head of the Developmental Therapeutics Program at the TTUHSC SOM Cancer Center. The grant to Dr. Maurer will support manufacturing of the LXS oral powder fenretinide that Dr. Maurer developed , thus providing much needed drug supplies to a pediatric clinical trial testing LXS fenretinide together with another drug for high-risk neuroblastoma. Dr. Maurer is developing that trial, which will be conducted in the South Plains Oncology Consortium (SPOC). The Evan foundation was developed in memory of Evan Lindberg who died of high-risk neuroblastoma.
2012 News Archives
- April 27th, 2012: When it comes to finding a cure for cancer, it is unlikely a super hero will swoop
in to save the day, but one team of super scientists just might. FOX 34 checked in with the Texas Tech Health Sciences Center School of Medicine's Cancer Center. Its
leaders are nationally recognized for their work but the community rarely gets a behind
the scenes look like this. Dr. Patrick Reynolds and his team of University of Southern
California researchers first landed in Lubbock in 2008 thanks to state funds made
possible by Proposition 15.
"Roughly 25 percent of all the people in the United States are going to encounter cancer personally, and virtually everyone encounters it within the sphere of their family," said Reynolds when asked why the community should care about his research. He and his partners have extensive backgrounds in pediatric oncology, but they have discovered that working to develop new therapies for the treatment of cancer in children and adults proves to be more marketable... READ MORE
2011 News Archives
- July 1, 2011: Three years of funding from the Cancer Prevention & Research Institute of Texas (CPRIT) of $2.7 million for the Texas Cancer Cell Repository (TXCCR) began today. The TXCCR will establish, bank, and distribute cancer models established from patient tumors that are grown in the laboratory and in special mice. The PI of the grant is C Patrick Reynolds, MD PhD of TTUHSC, the Co-PI is Adi Gazdar, MD of UT Southwestern Medical Center in Dallas (UTSW), and co-investigators are Min Kang, PharmD of TTUHSC and Jaya Lea, MD of UTSW. TXCCR works closely with the Texas Cancer Research Biobank and with many collaborating surgeons, pathologists, and oncologists throughout Texas.
- The Cure Cancer Foundation (www.curecancerfoundation.org) has generously provided a grant of $25,000 to the Cancer Center. These funds will be used to help purchase a new HPLC system for the Cancer Center Pharmacology Lab, Directed by Dr. Min Kang. The new instrument will be used for measuring drug levels for investigational drugs in the blood of patients in ongoing pediatric and adult oncology clinical trials.
- CPRIT 2010 Annual Report features TTUHSC Cancer Center project.
- TTUHSC President Ted Mitchell, MD presents the 2010 TTUHSC President's Young Investigator Award to Min Kang, Pharm.D.
- Jan 20, 2011: Clinical Cancer Research, one of the premier journals of clinical and translational
cancer research announced today that the #1 cited paper for Clinical Cancer Research in
Kang MH, Reynolds CP: Bcl-2 inhibitors: Targeting mitochondrial apoptotic pathways in cancer therapy. Clinical Cancer Research 15:1126-1132, 2009.
- The TTUHSC Cancer Center has received from the Arms Wide Open Foundation (www.awoccf.org) a grant of $63,000 to fund production of oral powder LXS fenretinide. The PI of this grant is Barry Maurer, MD PhD. This grant will enable completion of an ongoing phase I trial of LXS fenretinide in children with neuroblastoma being carried out in the New Approaches to Neuroblastoma Therapy (NANT) consortium (www.NANT.org), chaired by Dr. Maurer. This clinical trial has already demonstrated multiple complete responses in neuroblastoma patients with recurrent disease and is now testing the ability to increase fenretinide drug levels by decreasing fenretinide metabolism using the common drug ketoconazole to decrease metabolism of fenretinide, based on preclinical studies by Jason Cooper (MD PhD student), Min Kang, Pharm D, and Dr. Maurer.
- The TTUHSC Cancer Center has received a grant of $125,000 from Cure Search (funds provided by the Nearburg Foundation) to continue supporting the Children's Oncology Group (COG) Ewing's Family Tumors Preclinical Testing Laboratory. The PI of the grant is C Patrick Reynolds, MD PhD and the Co-PI is Min Kang, PharmD. Both the Cancer Center and Cure Search are grateful to the Nearburg Foundation for their support of this work, termed "Rett's Initiative" in memory of Rett Nearburg (www.Rett.org).
- The TTUHSC Cancer Center has received a grant of $101,000 from the Jasper L. and Jack Denton Wilson Charitable Foundation to support preclinical studies of fenretinide in laboratory models of ovarian cancer. The PI of the grant is Barry Maurer, MD PhD, Co-Pi is C Patrick Reynolds, MD PhD, and Min Kang PharmD is a Co-investigator. The Cancer Center is grateful to the Wilson foundation for their generous support of our translational research in ovarian cancer.
2010 News Archives
- Dr. Min Kang received double recognition: First she was selected for the 2010 TTUHSC President's Young Investigator Award and then she was recognized by the Texas Tech Board of Regents for her outstanding work in TTUHSC graduate student education.
- The article published in the New England J of Medicine in September on the phase III Children's Oncology Group trial adding antibody therapy + cytokines to 13-cis-retinoic acid for therapy of high-risk neuroblastoma has been ranked by the Faculty of 1000 (http://f1000.com) as being in the top 2% of published articles in biology and medicine. The first author of that paper is Dr. Alice Yu of UCSD and Dr. Reynolds, the TTUHSC Cancer Center Director, is a co-author.
- Holiday Greeting from the Cancer Center
June 17, 2010
- Registration for the Innovations in Cancer Prevention and Research Conference is now open! READ MORE»
May 7, 2010
- The Cancer Prevention and Research Institute of Texas (CPRIT) presented a check to Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center in the amount of $1,344,300. The check was accepted by Texas Tech University System Chancellor Kent Hance. READ MORE»
April 17-18, 2010
- Cancer Center members are presenting their research at the AACR meeting in Washington, D.C. this weekend and next week. Click to view the 2010 AACR presentations.
January 20, 2010
- The Cancer Prevention and Research Institute of Texas (CPRIT) announced the first of the individual investigator awards. Two grants from the TTUHSC School of Medicine were among the ~ 60 awards made by CPRIT. Only 7% of the > 800 applications in the
first round of funding were awarded. TTUHSC SOM grantees are:
Min Kang, Pharm D, Department of Cell Biology & Biochemistry. Dr. Kang's grant is to study molecular mechanisms of resistance to an exciting new type of anti-cancer drugs known as Bcl-2 inhibitors.
Guillermo Altenberg, MD PhD, Department of Cell Physiology and Molecular Biophysics, together with Ina Urbatsch, PhD, Department of Cell Biology & Biochemistry. Their grant will study the molecular mechanisms of novel inhibitors of a molecule that counters anti-cancer drugs by pumping them out of the cell that is known as MDR-1.
2009 News Archives
- Texas Begins $3 Billion Quest To Cure Cancer. "I don't know anyone that would stand shoulder-to-shoulder with what they're trying
to do," said Robert Urban, executive director of the Koch Institute for Innovative
Cancer Research at MIT.
That gee-whiz impression is what Texas leaders sought in 2007, when the state created the Cancer Prevention and Research Institute of Texas through an ambitious bond measure approved by voters.... READ MORE»