Scientists at City of Hope are involved in pioneering research that will generate the next generation of medical advances. These studies are in the emerging fields of molecular biology, molecular genetics, nanoscience and nanotechnology.
The molecular biology research has two goals. One set of experiments is aimed at understanding how the RNA used by human cells to copy the ends of chromosomes is made and assembled in normal cells and cancer cells. The second set of experiments is aimed at understanding how patterns of methyl groups on DNA are lost and miscopied as we age and as cancer cells form.
The molecular genetics research is aimed at understanding how prostate cancer cells interfere with normal pathways in the synthesis of the building blocks of fat. Normally these pathways tell a cell that is about to become a cancer cell that it should stop growing and die in order to best preserve the whole body. Cancer cells, on the other hand, have special genes that block this process allowing them to continue to grow and ultimately form a cancerous growth.
The nanotechnology research seeks to exploit City of Hope’s patented bionanotechnology to use engineered DNA and protein to build tiny programmable machines (smaller than one thousandth the width of a human hair) that can find cancer cells and either mark them in a diagnostic procedure or perhaps selectively destroy them.
Additionally, various basic research programs are under way in other city of Hope and Beckman Research Institute departments related to urologic oncology, including molecular medicine and gene-based therapy.
City of Hope has long been a leader in cancer research, including testicular cancer. Multiple clinical trials are ongoing, offering patients access to new and advanced treatments involving chemotherapy, radioimmunotherapy and radiation.
To learn more about our clinical trials program – and how you can participate in trials for testicular cancer – click here.