See also our related blog for the Pediatric Preclinical Testing Initiative.

Tuesday, December 31, 2013

The Lane-Bella Project

We are grateful to the Live Like Bella Foundation and the Thumbs Up for Lane Goodwin Childhood Cancer Foundation for co-funding our Lane-Bella Project, "towards a clinical trial of the VasG3 antibody in alveolar rhabdomyosarcoma".  This work is not only supported by a very generous gift from National League Rookie of the Year, Jose Fernandez, but also by families that have been touched by rhabdomyosarcoma.  Angie and Shannah will hold us accountable, and so check back frequently for project updates from Jinu & Charles in this blog entry!

weekly blog update:
12/31/2013:  funding arrived!  we are also filmed a short video to explain the project, to be available soon!
  
01/01/2014:  the video...
  
video

01/09/2014:  while we wait for the internal university process for account setup, we have begun conversations with the pharma on antibody doses to use for initial studies.
  
01/17/2014:  irb and iacuc approvals are in place so that the university account can be set up.
  
01/24/2014:  accounts set up.
  
01/30/2014:  requests for antibody sent to pharma partner.  mice for studies ordered.
  
02/06/2014:  mice for initial/pilot studies received.  cells thawed for expansion - needed before implantation into mice.  first experiment's plan reviewed with team.
  
02/13/2014:  We have three human aRMS cell lines in culture for injection into immune-deficient mice. Rh41 is growing well and will be injected into mice early next week. Rh5 and PCB380 are taking time to recover from cryopreservation.  See also the press release
  
02/20/2014:  Rh41 tumor cell innoculations done today.  
  
02/27/2014:  No new news.  We are waiting for the Rh41 injected mice to grow tumors. 
  
03/06/2014:  As expected, still watchful waiting on Rh41 mice. 
  
03/14/2014:  Discussed studies with pharma company.  more watchful waiting of Rh41 mice. Rh5 mouse studies initiated this week. 
  
04/03/14:  Rh41 xenografts beginning bear palpable masses.  
  
04/10/2014:  Rh41 latency confirmed; Rh5 latency studies still underway; stay tuned for a related publication announcement on Monday!
  
04/14/2014:  See the blog post  http://kellerlabblog.blogspot.com/2014/04/imrans-paper-published-in-pnas.html for a link to today's published PNAS paper on this topic.  The studies in Imran's paper were the basis of this "next steps" project.  
  
04/17/2014:  Rh41 tumor growth rates in NSG mice has been determined & experiment ended.  Rh5 beginning to form tumors. 
  
04/24/2014:  Rh5 xenografts progressing as expected.  New batch of EphB4 neutralizing antibody received from pharma partner, facilitating the next series of therapeutic studies. 
  
05/01/2014:  Rh5 pilot tumor growth rate studies complete.  Therapeutic studies to follow. 
  
05/08/2014:  Working with partner (Jax) to plan PCB380 (aRMS) patient-derived xenograft testing with the EphB4 neutralizing antibody.
  
05/08/2014:  partnership experiment continues to be in preparation phase. 
  
05/15/2014:  no specific progress this week (still awaiting partner preparations). 
  
05/21/2014:  PCB00380 studies may begin in 1-2 weeks.  Meanwhile, discussions with COG leaders this week indicate that phase I testing will be made much easier if we can demonstrate EphB4 blocking antibody activity in 2 or more additional pediatric cancers.  This is fair.  In an a related project, we have been examining osteosarcoma (very early studies) and neuroblastoma is a possible other cancer to consider. 

05/29/2014:  no new news to report. 

06/06/2014:  We are happy to welcome our Summer student Renae to the lab.  Renae will be assisting Jinu in our EphB4 RMS studies.  Meanwhile, PCB00380 experiments are about to commence.  It will take ~6 weeks for these tumors to arise, and will reach the size for treatment to begin in 12-16 weeks.  
  
06/12/2014:  still awaiting tumor formation. interestingly, our Summer student Teagan has found both EphB4 and EphrinB2 expression in canine osteosarcoma.  There are a lot of other studies to consider, but companion pet cancer patients often can be the first to receive a treatment on its way to pediatric cancer trials.  more to follow on this very early observation. 
  
06/26/2014:  parallel studies are now ongoing to explore human osteosarcoma expression of EphB4 and EphrinB2.  We're still awaiting tumor growth of the alveolar rhabdomyosarcoma mice.   
  
07/18/2014:  still awaiting tumor growth.
  
07/26/2014:  still no growth of tumors implanted in June.  Considering parallel model intiation.
  
08/08/2014:  patient-derived human xenograft (PDX) models are slow to grow!  We will start xenograft studies using human aRMS cell lines in the coming weeks: results from the PDX and orthotopic cell line xenografts should both be completed by November/December.  
  
09/11/2014:  awaiting tumor growth.  have been invited to present the data thus far to a cooperative sarcoma clinical trials group on October 7 in Gaithersburg. Parallel studies of EphB4 as a therapeutic target in osteosarcoma continue to look promising.  
  
10/02/2014:   we received as second batch of VasG3 antibody from the company, and have ordered a new set of mice for the Rh30 cell line xenograft studies.  Still awaiting PDX tumor growth.  
  
10/16/2014:  new set of mice due in 2 weeks.  Meanwhile, Jinu is gearing up to have enough cells (for this and another study).  That's a lot of plates!
  
10/30/2014:  All 25 mice have received Rh30 aRMS cells. We are waiting for the tumors to develop in these mice to start treatment with EphB4-antibody from Vasgene.
  
11/13/2014:  For the Rh30 aRMS cell line studies, tumors in mice are palpable and the mice are being treated with the EphB4 antibody.  For the PCB00380 patient-derived xenograft studies, we implanted 5 mice in June and another 5 in August.  We are seeing tumor growth in the August batch.  Both tumors are quite small.  We might see the tumors reach a modest size in late December at which time we can split the tumor in order to generate the many-needed study mice.  This model is slow, so EphB4 antibody dosing will probably begin in March and wrap up in May 2015.  This is the nature of a more authentic patient-derived xenograft (PCB00380) versus the cell line xenografts with Rh30 (Rh30 was created way back in 1987... it's hard to say whether all of its biology is representative of the disease in 2014; however, for the field Rh30 is (unfortunately) still a standard model).   
 
12/11/2014:  Preclinical trial of Rh30 xenograft animals treated with VasG3 is now complete and under analysis. 
 
12/31/2014:  Project on short term hold pending transfer of grant from OHSU to our new, bold adventure at cc-TDI. 

01/06/2015:  New lab started!
  
02/04/2015:  Still awaiting transfer of grant.  Meanwhile for he PCB00380 patient-derived xenograft studies (aRMS model), tumors implanted in December are still too too small to begin treatment.   

02/13/2015:  Thank you, LiveLikeBella, for the funds to initiate the first half year's project!  PCB00380 tumors large enough to begin treatment with VasG3. 


02/18/2015:  PCB00380 treatment studies ongoing.



02/27/2015:  PCB00380 treatment studies still ongoing.
  
03/12/2015:  For PCB00380 treatment studies, synchronous enrollment was done (treatment started on the same day for all tumors).  Some tumors were smaller than others, and it appears that they were at different growth rates.  To have more consistent data, we are going to repeat the experiment with asynchronous enrollment... that is, tumors of the same size begin treatment, even if different tumors begin treatment on different days.
  
03/25/2015:  Repeat study of PCB00380 started (tumors innoculated). 
  
04/08/2015:  New supply of VasG3 received from the manufacturer; ready for repeat mouse study.  
  
04/20/2015:  Awaiting tumor growth in PCB00380 animals.
  

05/07/2015:  In keeping with our publication this past year (PDGFRβ reverses EphB4 signaling in alveolar rhabdomyosarcoma, Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2014 Apr 29;111(17):6383), we are next going to test the combination of VasG3 (to inhibit EphB4) and imatinib (to inhibit PDGFRb).  A video progress report is below:  


video


05/07/2015:  repeat of VasG3 inPCB00380 is underway.  
  
06/03/2015:  pharmacodynamics of VasG3-treated Rh30 xenografts in progress.
  
06/17/2015:  no growth so far for repeat of VasG3 inPCB00380.


06/03/2015:  pharmacodynamics of VasG3-treated Rh30 xenografts is done.
  
07/15/2015:  lung metastasis count of VasG3-treated Rh30 xenografts in progress.
  
07/28/2015:  repeat of VasG3 inPCB00380 is nearly complete.  lung metastasis count of VasG3-treated Rh30 xenografts is done. 
  
08/05/2015:  checking PDXs for best model to try VasG3 - other agent combinations. 
  

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

The Community takes the lead

An exciting initiative from families of rhabdomyosarcoma patients has begun at http://focusonrhabdo.org/.  The group has the goal of making rhabdomyosarcoma a uniformly survivable disease with an improved quality of life.  A great number of rhabdomyosarcoma researchers will provide support to this group, but the goals and mission are being set those who may know the disease best, the families. 
  

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Congratulations, Ken!

Ken's recent paper on a fascinating and clinically-relevant aspect of alveolar rhabdomyosarcoma biology has just been accepted to PLoS Genetics. Co-authors included lab alumnist Imran Aslam (now a medicine resident at Johns Hopkins), OHSU collaborator Wolfram Laub, UTHSCSA collaborator Joel Michalek, Harvard collaborators Simone Hettmer and Amy Wagers, JHMI collaborators David Loeb and Bree Wilky and Cleveland Clinic collaborator Brian Rubin.

This is Ken's 8th paper (and 6th first author paper) from his 2 year postdoctoral fellowship in our lab (with one additional first author manuscript soon to be submitted). Amazing productivity for Ken, who is now faculty at Uji Takeda Hospital and Kyoto Prefectural University.
 
The study above was made possible by funding from the NCI.

Monday, November 25, 2013

Congratulations, Ken and Eri!

Eri & Ken's co-first author study of the role of the retinoblastoma gene in rhabdomyosarcoma has been accepted to the journal, Skeletal Muscle.  Co-authors include lab members Noah, Jinu and Matthew; lab alumni Olivia, Elaine and Koichi; as well as collaborators Ayeza & Atiya (OHSU Pathology), Sherrie (Univ of Utah), Paul & Sean (NCI), Harry, Lee Ann Chris, Yidong and Joel (UTHSCSA), Brian (Cleveland Clinic) and Monica (IMPPC, Barcelona).
  
This work was made possible by a gift from the Nylund estate and fellow funding to Jinu and Koichi by the Scott Carter Foundation.

[update 11/25/2013:  the manuscript Rb1 loss modifies but does not initiate alveolar rhabdomyosarcoma is now available online here.]

Saturday, November 23, 2013

Open Science Forum: Target Discovery in Rhabdomyosarcoma

Would members of the community be interested in sponsoring an experiment to launch drug discovery in rhabdomyosarcoma?  We are experienced in building drug screens from our leadership of the international dipg preclinical consortium and now want to build the resources to do the same thing for rhabdomyosarcoma.  We need $16,000 to build the rhabdomyosarcoma-specific 60 drug screen.  Thereafter, screening each new tumor culture would cost approximately $600. 

In parallel, we have an unusual set of other compounds which our lab members call, "Strange Brew."  There's no other way to explain this set of compounds, which draw upon every unusual observation of cancer and muscle biology since the early 1900's.  This higher risk screen is a $21,000 project... we could really use a sponsor for this second project as well.

Plates from both screens would not only be used by our lab, but also distributed to rhabdomyosarcoma research labs in the U.S. and internationally.  We have a good feeling about this.

Friday, November 15, 2013

Rhabdomyosarcoma Lab-ome

We've been asked on occasion what other labs do rhabdomyosarcoma research.  Below is a preliminary list (in no specific order)... we realize many are left off accidentally, but we will update this blog entry regularly to add more:

langneau lab,   http://langenaulab.com/ 
houghton lab (PPTP),   http://pptp.nchresearch.org/
rudnicki lab,   http://www.rudnickilab.ca/


simone hettmer* lab,   tba
jonathan fletcher lab,   tba
amy wagers lab,   tba

rosella rota lab,   tba

alessandro fanzani lab,   tba


* rising star

Saturday, October 12, 2013

a good cause

Please see this dipg-related website regarding the work of a 2012 Nanocourse parent, http://www.artforcharlie.com/what.htm.  In their shop are some very nice art cards that may be of interest.  Charles

Friday, October 11, 2013

Rally Foundation 'Legacy Gift' Project

Matthew presented the Rally Foundation for Childhood Cancer Research's Legacy Gift project via a booth at the Children's Oncology Group meeting this week in Dallas, Texas.  This project's goal is to developing tissue resources for tumor cell culture and patient-derived xenografts of rare childhood cancers.  Autopsy-derived samples ("legacy gifts") are a major emphasis of this project... with a rationale that the most resistant tumor to develop better treatments. 
 
Please see also the Rally Foundation parent interview at
https://vimeo.com/76616638.  Have some tissues ready.  

 

Monday, September 30, 2013

Patrick M. Callahan Memorial Fund

We are grateful to the Patrick M. Callahan Memorial Fund for their generous 2013 gift, which makes possible pilot studies of new research for the childhood muscle cancer, rhabdomyosarcoma.  The community of supporters of the Patrick M. Callahan Memorial Fund, and Patrick's mother Joann, are valued partners in the mission to make rhabdomyosarcoma a uniformly survivable condition.  

Sunday, September 22, 2013

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

New & Improved: Patient & Family Wall

We are grateful to the dozens of families who renewed consent forms for the Patient & Family Wall.  This is a very important aspect of our labs' research culture... seeing first hand, every day, those for whom we work towards new treatments in order to "give back childhood".

Macy Michelle Easom Memorial Lectureship

The 2013 Macy Michelle Easom Memorial Lectureship was given yesterday by University of Pennsylvania researcher, Klaus Kaestner.  This lectureship is sponsored by the Macy Easom Cancer Research Foundation, which is dedicated to research and new treatments for hepatoblastoma.  Lisa, Macy's aunt, was in attendance and presented to OHSU a check for $75,000 for development of a humanized hepatoblastoma mouse model.
 
[pictured above:  John Bial, Lisa Howard, Klaus Kaestner and Markus Grompe]

Friday, September 6, 2013

Huffington Post: a frank discussion

As September is Childhood Cancer Awareness month, health reporter Suzanne Leigh at the Huffington Post has written an article "Childhood Cancer Awareness Month: 8 Brutal Truths to Choke On".  A lot of these uncomfortable observations are key aspects of getting new, effective treatments to children with cancer.  DIPG and rhabdomyosarcoma are both discussed.  

Sunday, September 1, 2013

2014 Pediatric Cancer Nanocourse

This community-empowerment week course will examine critical steps to finding new treatments for pediatric cancers, specifically rhabdomyosarcoma and dipg (hepatoblastoma may be a topic as well).  The 2012 Nanocourse in Portland was widely attended by families from the U.S. and Europe.  
  
The 2014 Nanocourse will be at Stanford University in August and organized by parents (John MacIntosh; Sandy Smith).  The rhabdomyosarcoma project will be led by Andrea Eidsvik.  If you are interested in participating in the course and wish to be introduced, send a note to Charles at keller@ohsu.edu.  
  
Attendance will be limited, but this promises to be a very rewarding experience.  
  

Scott Carter Foundation 'Big Show'

The Tulsa community working in the memory of young Scott Carter to further childhood cancer research had it's 'Big Show' and Golf Tournament this past week.  From our lab, Noah (a 2014 Scott Carter Fellow) attended... here pictured participating in the Duke University Improv group performance at the Big Show.  Thank you, Mike, Paula, Paul and Cason for your untiring efforts!

Saturday, August 31, 2013

innovator, Dr. Jim Olson

A consistently innovative colleague, Jim Olson, has created 'Project Violet' as a grassroots 'citizen science' drug development effort for dipg.  His TED talk and the project description can be viewed here.  

Thursday, August 29, 2013

Fish & Rhabdo

Congratulations to our MGH collaborators, Eleanor & Dave, on their embryonal rhabdomyosarcoma gene discovery study just published in PLoS Genetics.  A takehome of this study is that genetic models such as zebrafish may have different modes of gene amplification, but cross-species comparisons help filter out the key factors rather readily. 

Saturday, August 10, 2013

2013 Rhabdomyosarcoma Pico-Course

We are grateful to the speakers and participants of the 2013 Rhabdomyosarcoma Pico-Course who critically evaluated the 'preclinical gap' in childhood cancer research.  This pico-course had a decidedly sea-faring theme (some participants came from Fishermen helping kids with cancer).  The conclusion? Acceleration of promising clinical trials is possible.   

Friday, August 9, 2013

Congratulations, Imran & Simone!

Imran and Simone's study on the curious, ectopic behavior of surface growth factor receptors has been accepted for publication in Molecular Cancer Research.  Co-authors include lab member Jinu, lab alumni Elaine and Anu, Druker lab collaborators Dorian and Jeff, Wager lab members Simone, Shuyu and Amy, and statisticians Martin and Joel.  
  
These studies were funded in part by the Ethan Jostad Foundation for Childhood Cancer and the Howard Hughes Medical Institute.  
  
To see the Online First publication. click here

Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Congratulations, Noah!

Congratulations to Noah, whose 'personalized cancer math' paper is now published in BMC Bioinformatics. Co-authors include Keller lab member Lara, Colorado State University collaborator Bernard Seguin.  The study was anchored by senior author Ranadip Pal at Texas Tech University.  

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

GH's paper accepted to Stem Cells

Congratulations to lab alumnist, Guangheng, whose paper on rhabdomyosarcoma - satellite cell (muscle stem cell) interactions has been accepted for publication in StemCells.  Co-authors include lab members Ken and Megan, lab alumnist Ken, and long time collaborator Brian Rubin at the Cleveland Clinic.  Our sincere thanks to Matthew for his technical assistance on these studies. 
  
For this project, GH was supported by a fellowship from the Scott Carter Foundation and study reagents were made possible by support of the Patrick M. Callahan Memorial Fund.    
  
[07/30/2013:  The manuscript entitled, "IL-4 receptor blockade abrogates satellite cell - rhabdomyosarcoma fusion and prevents tumor establishment", is now available online. ]    

Thursday, July 25, 2013

Congratulations, Lara!

We are so proud of her!  Lara is a mentored clinician-scientist in our laboratory who recently graduated her adolescent and young adult oncology fellowship and has been offered a coveted faculty position at OHSU in the Division of Hematology and Medical Oncology.  Lara will continue to devote the majority of her time to her Damon Runyon-Sohn/St. Baldrick’s Foundation sponsored research in osteosarcoma.
   
[ pictured to right: Lara and progeny at the Northwest Sarcoma Foundation DragonSlayer event.]
 
 

Monday, July 15, 2013

lab member spotlight: Megan!


Megan comes to our lab all the way from Providence, Rhode Island, where she earned her Bachelor’s of Science degree in Biology and Bachelor’s of Arts degree in Psychology.  As an undergraduate and post graduation Megan worked in the Spinette Lab at Rhode Island College,  investigating the effects of inactivation of the E3 ubiquitin ligase UFD2a in skeletal muscle growth and differentiation. This work gave her a strong background in muscle biology, making her a great fit for our lab. Megan has fallen in love with the Pacific Northwest, and along with her fiancée Paul and their dog Lucky, is enjoying all the hiking, biking, and great food it has to offer.

Friday, July 12, 2013

new update on the crowdfunding project!

Please click below to see the full video update of our Consano crowdfunding project.  To contribute, go to https://www.consano.org/projects/21-halting-tumor-cells-from-spreading-by-blocking-hostile-mergers.    
 
video

 
Thank you for your support.  We really enjoy this partnership with the community to further new treatment discoveries for rhabdomyosarcoma. ... to succeed, we really need your help! 

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Megan discusses community partnering

video
 
Our rhabdomyosarcoma crowdfunding project at the Consano website is described here, and the Megan's short personal introduction can be seen in this video.

Welcoming Matthew!


Matthew joined our laboratory in May with the major responsibility of implementing
the Rally Foundation-sponsored childhood cancer tumor repository.  He earned a Bachelor’s of Science degree in Biological Sciences with a minor in Chemistry from the University of Illinois in 2007. Following completion of his undergraduate degree, Matthew enrolled in a Paramedic Certification program at Malcom X College in Chicago, IL where he was privileged to complete his field internship with the Chicago Fire Department on ambulances serving the South Side of Chicago. Matthew is interested in pursuing a career as a Physician-Scientist in the future. 

epub now available: review of rhabdomyosarcoma differentiation

a review by collaborator Denis Guttridge and our lab addressing approaches to cellular differentiation in rhabdomyosarcoma now appear in the FEBS Journal

Monday, July 1, 2013

Noah, the 2013 Scott Carter Fellow

Our warmest welcome to Noah, who recently graduated from Texas Tech University with a Masters degree in engineering and will be the 2013 Scott Carter Fellow.  We are grateful to the Scott Carter Foundation, who make possible Noah's fellowship to define computational approaches to drug combinations for sarcoma therapy.  

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

cancer math (for personalized medicine)

Many congratulations to Noah, a graduate student in the laboratory of our collaborator, Dr. Ranadip Pal, on his recently accepted paper in BMC Bioinformatics.  This paper builds upon the laboratory-based and computational pipeline for solid tumor combination therapy we are studying for dogs (and eventually, humans) with sarcomas.  Noah's paper is the successor to his original published study, Pubmed ID 22174290
  
Co-authoring the study is veterinary surgical oncologist Dr. Bernard Seguin at the Flint Animal Cancer Center, Colorado State University. 

Lemonade Days!

To see a Portland family's lemonade stand for childhood cancer research, click here for the story and video. 

Sunday, June 9, 2013

congratulations again, Mat!

Mat recently won first place in the basic science project presentation for his residency program retreat.  nicely done, Mat! Charles

Friday, May 31, 2013

Rhabdomyosarcoma Pico-Course for the Community


We’ve been having some conversations with families touched by rhabdomyosarcoma and undifferentiated sarcoma… they have requested that instead of a 2014 Nanocourse with a rhabdomyosarcoma project, that we first have a very focused rhabdomyosarcoma “pico-course” this August.  The invited group will be very small, but this one-week lab & community leadership internship is meant to be impactful.  

We did something very similar for brainstem gliomas last year, which resulted in a peer-reviewed manuscript submission of a roadmap to curing that cancer.

If you are interested in attending, please contact Charles via keller (at) ohsu.edu.  

Thursday, May 30, 2013

Rhabdomyosarcoma and Running

We are grateful to Frank for including an entry on his blog about our rhabdomyosarcoma crowdfunding project.  Frank has an inspirational story and now shares his experiences and passion through his blog. 

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Congratulations, Ken!

Ken's paper on sclerosing rhabdomyosarcoma is accepted for publication.  This paper entitled, "MDM2 Amplification and PI3KCA mutation in a Case of Sclerosing Rhabdomyosarcoma" is now available online here.  Co-authors include Dr. Atiya Mansoor, an expert on sarcoma pathology.  We thank Jonathan Hart and Peter Vogt for key reagents for these studies.  We also thank the patient and his family who made this Legacy Gift possible.

Congratulations, Mumtaz!

Congratulations to collaborator Mumtaz Yaseen in the laboratory of Dr. Denis Guttridge whose exciting work on sarcoma biology has recently been accepted to Science Signaling.

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Proof-of-concept rare cancers in drug development: the case for rhabdomyosarcoma

We hope you will enjoy this review and commentary as much as we do.  A lot of people in pharma, the community-at-large and scientific thought leaders helped to create this somewhat out of the box concept proposal.  With some additional community volunteers, I think we could really put this plan to action.  Sincerely, Charles
  
[ This review was made possible by a gift from the Ethan Jostad Foundation ].

Sunday, May 5, 2013

Congratulations, Stefano!

Congratulations to Stefano Biressi in the Rando laboratory at Stanford on a fabulous lineage study of muscle progenitors accepted by the journal, Developmental Biology.  This paper is entitled, "Myf5 expression during fetal myogenesis defines the developmental progenitors of adult satellite cells" and is available online here.  Co-authors from our lab include alumni member, Koichi Nishijo.   

Friday, May 3, 2013

Congratulations, Mat!

Lab member Mathew Geltzeiler has selected to receive this year’s American Academy of Otolaryngology – Head & Neck Surgery Foundation (AAO-HNSF) Saidee Keller Memorial Resident Research Grant.  We couldn't be more proud of Mat's accomplishment! 

Saturday, April 27, 2013

Postdoctoral Position Available!

This mentored position will empower the candidate to analyze complex conditional genetic mouse models of pediatric cancers for the purpose of developing novel molecular therapies. The primary goal for this fellowship is to understand the role of growth factors & kinases in the progression of the childhood muscle cancer, rhabdomyosarcoma. Employing molecular biology, biochemistry and multiscale imaging (whole animal to confocal microscopy), the candidate will have the opportunity to identify critical factors in tumor maintenance and tumor progression from which new therapies can be developed.  Rapid translation to the clinic is the underlying goal.  Candidates with experience in developmental biology or muscle biology are especially encouraged to apply.  
  
Applicants will be able to find the position by entering IRC39103 into the search field on www.ohsujobs.com.  For question, you can contact Charles via email, keller (at) ohsu.edu.  
  
[ photo credit, Mat Geltzeiler ]

Lausanne NCCR Conference

We are grateful to Michel Aguet and Ivan Stamenkovic for the opportunity to present Ken and Jinu's recent studies at the Lausanne National Center of Competence Research (NCCR) in Molecular Oncology Symposium.  This symposium addressed drug development in pharma as well as academics.

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Ken and Simone at AACR

Ken and Simone had the opportunity to meet at the AACR meeting in D.C., pictured here in front of the poster for their collaborative studies.  We have really enjoyed this productive collaboration with Simone Hettmer, a pediatric oncologist at DFCI, and her research mentor, Amy Wager at the Joslin.  

Sunday, April 7, 2013

crowdfunding !

Please consider participating in our first rhabdomyosarcoma crowdfunding project, "Halting Tumor cells from Spreading by Blocking Hostile Mergers".  More details can be found on the Consano website (new url) here.  

[ update 4/7/13:  See the story behind the founding of the Consano crowdfunding site with Molly's interview Here. ]

Friday, April 5, 2013

Our appreciation for Ken

After 2 years of postdoctoral fellowship, Ken will now be taking a physician-scientist faculty position in Kyoto, Japan, where he will continue research on childhood cancer.  Ken's creativity and smile will be greatly missed, though we plan to keep in close touch.  In addition to Ken's first author paper in Oncogene, his book chapter in Curr Top Dev Biol and his insightful commentary in Cancer Cell, Ken also has 2 other manuscripts in review and one in preparation... a great set of achievements that (particularly in recent work) may include some paradigm-changing discoveries.  Our best wishes to Ken and his family.

Our thanks to the Kyla McCullough Gift Fund

We are grateful to the community of supporters for the Kyla McCullough Gift Fund who have made possible the purchase of a high-throughput multi-well plate reader for our program's study of childhood cancer. This instrument will be used multiple times a day, and enables us to perform research at a new and much faster pace.  

Thursday, April 4, 2013

NWSF funds UW-OHSU Sarcoma Studies


We are grateful for the $25,000 directed gift from the Northwest Sarcoma Foundation to facilitate the collaborations with our University of Washington colleagues, including Dr. Robin Jones.  These funds strengthen the bonds between our two institutions and (hopefully) does a great deal to advance knowledge, and eventually care, of sarcoma patients in the Pacific Northwest and beyond. 

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Rally Foundation Milestone


Congratulations to the Rally Foundation for reaching the $1M milestone for grant funding in 2013.  We are also grateful for the support of Rally Foundation in our lab's projects, currently and over many years.  

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Nanocourse Alumni Recent Accomplishments

We are proud of the accomplishments of Pediatric Cancer Biology Nanocourse alumni Zaahid Khan and Isaiah Bingham who are taking the message of childhood cancer advocacy and research needs to their peers and community.  Congratulations, too, to Zaahid, who has recently been accepted to Harvard University.
  
Attendance at the Nanocourse was made possible through the Cranbrook School and the Family of Miles Alpern Levin.   
We are grateful to BC Cancer Research Institute sarcoma scientist, Dr. Poul Sorensen, who delivers today the 2013 Scott Michael Carter Memorial Lectureship on, "The application of genomics to identify diagnostic biomarkers, drivers and therapeutic targets for pediatric cancers".   

Monday, April 1, 2013

Congratulations, Imran!

We couldn't be more proud of lab alumnist, M. Imran Aslam, who was recently chosen as an internal medicine resident at Johns Hopkins University Osler Program.  Imran was a medical student researcher at our laboratory in San Antonio, and later an HHMI medical student scholar co-mentored by our laboratory and the laboratory of Dr. Brian Druker.  Imran has made impactful studies of rhabdomyosarcoma, and now is on an exciting path towards a career as a physician-scientist.  Congratulations, Imran!  

Saturday, March 30, 2013

visiting Bernard at CSU


This week included a visit to our collaborator Dr. Bernard Seguin at Colorado State University's Flint Animal Cancer Center.  The faculty and staff of this outstanding program are truly inspiring.  Thanks to Lynda, who gave a warm Colorado welcome and clothed our key lab members with CSU T-shirts :) 
  
Stay tuned for an exciting multi-institutional collaboration...

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Miles Alpern Levin Memorial Lectureship

We are grateful to NCI scientist, Dr. Javed Khan, who delivered the 2013 Miles Alpern Levin Memorial Lectureship today on. "The application of genomics to identify diagnostic biomarkers, drivers and therapeutic targets for pediatric cancers".   The recent results of deep sequencing for alveolar and embryonal rhabdomyosarcoma from Javed's laboratory are very provocative.  

Saturday, March 2, 2013

Congratulations, Claire & Liz!

A very interesting review for the journal Oncogene by Summer lab members Claire and Liz has been accepted for publication.  This out-of-the-box paper explores how Pharma companies might find benefit in developing treatments for rhabdomyosarcoma.  This work was supported in part by the Ethan Jostad Foundation for Childhood Cancer.  

Friday, March 1, 2013

visits to Mt Sinai, Dana Farber

We are grateful to our hosts at the Department of Oncological Sciences at Mt. Sinai as well as at the Department of Pediatric Oncology at the Dana Farber Cancer Institute for the opportunity to present our laboratory team's research on rhabdomyosarcoma.  Featured were the studies of Ken, Jinu and Imran.  

Saturday, February 23, 2013

NCI funds sarcoma study

We are excited to be part of the program project NF-kB Regulated Metabolic Shifts in Childhood Sarcomas directed by Dr. Peter Houghton at Nationwide Children's Hospital and newly funded by NIH/NCI.  The studies within the project led by Dr. Denis Guttridge in which we will participate will investigate the NFkB signaling pathway in rhabdomyosarcoma.  

Monday, February 4, 2013

Dupont creates new opportunities

The recent change in policy by Dupont with regard to the Oncomouse patent opens the door to academic-pharma collaboration.  It may also be possible to streamline development of novel drug testing by creating a non-profit company or organization for this specific purpose.  Rhabdomyosarcoma, Inc?  Would members of the community have interest in such an endeavor?  

Thursday, January 31, 2013

Congratulations to Lara, Nicolle and GH

Congratulations to Lara, Nicolle and GH on their recent manuscript acceptance to Pediatric Blood & Cancer.  In this study, Lara & Nicolle describe a first-approach to canine osteosarcoma (as a model for human osteosarcoma).  Co-authors include Colorado State faculty Bernard Seguin, Oregon State University faculty Shay Bracha, Stuart Hefland, John Mata and Kevin Marley, Druker laboratory members Marc Loriaux and Jeff Tyner, Keller lab alumnist Elaine, and current Keller lab member Jinu.  This work, some of our earliest on canine osteosarcoma, was supported to a great extent by the Scott Carter Foundation and the Thrasher Research Fund.  
  
This study is now available online here and is the cover article of the print version issue.