Cancer Biology


Salk Institute for Biological Studies - Cancer Biology - Videos


Salk scientists curb growth of cancer cells by blocking access to key nutrients

LA JOLLA—Salk researchers have discovered how to curb the growth of cancer cells by blocking the cells’ access to certain nutrients. The approach, detailed in a new paper published today in Nature, took advantage of knowledge on how healthy cells use a 24-hour cycle to regulate the production of nutrients and was tested on glioblastoma brain tumors in mice. Read more »

Salk researchers awarded $2.5 million for innovative pancreatic cancer clinical trial

Salk Professor and HHMI Investigator Ronald Evans has been awarded $2.5 million by Stand Up To Cancer (SU2C) as part of a multi-institution team to conduct clinical studies to open up a new avenue for immunotherapy in the treatment of pancreatic cancer. While the cancer normally excludes immune T-cells, the Evans lab discovered that modified vitamin D reprograms the cancer environment in a way that may allow the Merck drug Keytruda® to invade and destroy the tumor. Read more »

Salk scientists solve longstanding biological mystery of DNA organization

LA JOLLA—Stretched out, the DNA from all the cells in our body would reach Pluto. So how does each tiny cell pack a two-meter length of DNA into its nucleus, which is just one-thousandth of a millimeter across?

The answer to this daunting biological riddle is central to understanding how the three-dimensional organization of DNA in the nucleus influences our biology, from how our genome orchestrates our cellular activity to how genes are passed from parents to children. Read more »

Targeting fat to treat cancer

Fat isn’t just something we eat: it may also lie at the heart of a new approach to treating cancer.

Cells create their own fat molecules to build their plasma membranes and other critical structures. Now, researchers at the Salk Institute, along with academic and industry collaborators, have found a way to obstruct this instrumental process to stifle cancer’s growth, detailed September 19, 2016 in Nature Medicine. Like halting the delivery of supplies to a construction site, the approach stalls the molecular building blocks cancer needs to grow.
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New drug squashes cancer’s last-ditch efforts to survive

As a tumor grows, its cancerous cells ramp up an energy-harvesting process to support its hasty development. This process, called autophagy, is normally used by a cell to recycle damaged organelles and proteins, but is also co-opted by cancer cells to meet their increased energy and metabolic demands. Read more »