Molecular and Cellular Biology of Cancer

To win any battle, it is necessary to understand one’s opponent at its most fundamental level. That’s the mission of City of Hope’s Molecular and Cellular Biology of Cancer (MCBC) Program, a collection of experts dedicated to the development of a robust comprehension of cancer’s basic biology.
Led by celebrated cancer biologists Charles Brenner, Ph.D., the Alfred E Mann Family Foundation Chair in Diabetes and Cancer Metabolism, and Binghui Shen, Ph.D., the MCBC Program facilitates basic cancer biology research and accelerates the application of scientific discoveries within the clinic. To achieve this, the program brings together world-class investigators in the areas of DNA damage response and repair, RNA biology and therapeutics, cancer metabolism and oncogenic signaling.
The MCBC Program is driven by the following goals:

  • To define the relationship between DNA damage and repair, mutagenesis and carcinogenesis at the molecular level
  • To develop therapeutic regimens based on identified targets, including the molecules involved in DNA damage response, repair and epigenetic changes
  • To define and characterize fundamental biological mechanisms of novel microRNA and long noncoding RNA in tumor initiation, development and metastasis, as well as to develop technology based on noncoding RNA for cancer therapeutics
  • To elucidate signal pathway alterations due to metabolic imbalance that result in tumor initiation, cancer cell proliferation and/or death and metastasis, and to improve the design of cancer therapeutic regimens

In addition to its scientific goals, the MCBC Program seeks to do the following:

  • Develop inter- and intraprogrammatic collaborations and facilitate access to new technologies and resources.
  • Create forums for scientific exchange and discussion.
  • Discover and elucidate basic cancer processes that can be collaboratively translated to the clinic.

A comprehensive study of how, why and when DNA breakdown occurs is particularly key to the ongoing fight against cancer. Armed with that knowledge, researchers and experts at City of Hope’s MCBC Program are pioneering a new generation of creative and powerful treatments across all three clinical programs: Developmental Cancer Therapeutics, Cancer Immunotherapeutics, and Hematologic Malignancies.