Tag: Cancer

Leucine deprivation proves deadly to malignant melanoma cells

May 16, 2011

Whitehead Institute researchers have found that depriving human melanoma cells of the amino acid leucine can be lethal to the cells, suggesting a possible strategy for therapeutic intervention. The researchers observed the effect in melanoma cells with a mutation in the RAS/MEK signaling pathway—the most common mutation found in the deadliest form of skin cancer.

Scientists identify a surprising new source of cancer stem cells

April 11, 2011

Certain differentiated cells in breast tissue can spontaneously convert to a stem-cell-like state, according to Whitehead Institute researchers. Until now, scientific dogma has stated that differentiation is a one-way path; once cells specialize, they cannot return to the flexible stem-cell state on their own.

Whitehead scientist helps revisit "Hallmarks of Cancer"

March 16, 2011

Renowned cancer researchers Robert Weinberg and Douglas Hanahan and have updated the “Hallmarks of Cancer”, their seminal review that codified the traits that all cancers have in common.  The original article has greatly influenced scientists, both in and outside cancer research. The revised work incorporates information gleaned from the past eleven years of cancer research and is expected to have a profound impact on the study of cancer and the quest for approaches to treat it.

Tiny RNA shown to cause multiple types of leukemia

November 29, 2010

Whitehead Institute researchers have shown in mouse models that overexpression of the microRNA 125b (miR-125b) can independently cause leukemia and accelerate the disease’s progression in mice.

Video length: 36:15

Cancer Stem Cells and Malignant Progression

June 29, 2010

Robert Weinberg - Whitehead Institute

The ends of mRNAs may prevent the beginnings of cancer

August 20, 2009

The tail ends of cellular protein templates, regions often thought relatively inconsequential, may actually play a role in preventing normal cells from becoming cancerous.

Slides of tumor cells

New method takes aim at aggressive cancer cells

August 13, 2009

A multi-institutional team of Boston-area researchers has discovered a chemical that works in mice to kill the rare but aggressive cells within breast cancers that have the ability to seed new tumors.

Image of mouse tissue with and without miR-31

RNA snippet suppresses spread of aggressive breast cancer

June 11, 2009

Low levels of a tiny RNA fragment in cells are associated with metastatic breast cancer in humans and increases the aggressive spread of breast cancer in mice, according to researchers at Whitehead Institute for Biomedical Research.

Multiple myeloma cells get what they want

May 27, 2009

Researchers at Whitehead Institute for Biomedical Research have identified a protein in multiple myeloma cells, called DEPTOR, that indirectly activates a signaling pathway commonly turned on in cancer cells. Known as the PI3K/PTEN/Akt pathway, this signaling pathway controls cell survival, and when altered, keeps cancer cells from dying.

Cell pathway on overdrive prevents cancer response to dietary restriction

March 11, 2009

Whitehead Institute researchers have pinpointed a cellular pathway that determines whether cancerous tumors are susceptible to dietary restriction during their development. When this pathway, known as PI3K is permanently turned “on” via mutation, tumors grow and proliferate independent of the amount of food consumed. However, when the PI3K pathway operates normally, tumors respond to dietary restriction—defined as food consumption limited to 60% of normal--and become smaller in size.

Slides of prostate cells

Preventing prostate cancer the complex way

February 2, 2009

Blocking a specific protein complex (mTORC2) prevents prostate tumor formation in mice with a deleted PTEN gene. Inhibition of this complex in normal prostate cells, however, appears to have no effect, suggesting that the protein complex may be a future target for drug development.

Image of mammosphere

Embryonic pathway delivers stem cell traits

May 15, 2008

Understanding the role of EMT in adult stem cell creation may lead toward the development of healthy stem cells for regenerative medicine and provide drug targets for cancer.


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