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  • Posted: 01/10/2013

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NCI Cancer Center News

Sickle cells show potential to attack aggressive cancer tumors

By harnessing the very qualities that make sickle cell disease a lethal blood disorder, a research team led by Duke Medicine (home to the Duke Cancer Institute) and Jenomic, a private cancer research company in Carmel, Calif., has developed a way to deploy the misshapen red blood cells to fight cancer tumors. Reporting in the Jan. 9, 2013, edition of the on-line journal, PLOS ONE, the researchers describe a process of exploiting sickle-shaped red blood cells to selectively target oxygen deprived cancer tumors in mice and block the blood vessels that surround them.

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NCI Comprehensive Cancer Centers logoAmong the research institutions NCI funds across the United States, it currently designates 67 as Cancer Centers. Largely based in research universities, these facilities are home to many of the NCI-supported scientists who conduct a wide range of intense, laboratory research into cancer’s origins and development. The Cancer Centers Program also focuses on trans-disciplinary research, including population science and clinical research. The centers’ research results are often at the forefront of studies in the cancer field.