As part of the “Cancer Moonshot” federal initiative to spur breakthroughs in cancer research, Biden hosted a roundtable discussion on Wednesday at the Duke University School of Medicine that featured cancer experts and leaders from UNC. Among the experts chosen for the panel were Stephanie Wheeler, PhD, UNC Lineberger member and assistant professor of health policy and management at the UNC Gillings School of Global Public Health and Niklaus Steiner, UNC-Chapel Hill professor and co-founder of the Chapel Hill-based Be Loud! Sophie Foundation, which supports adolescents and young adults with cancer.
At the 10th Annual UNC Conference on Melanoma and Complex Skin Cancers: A Multidisciplinary Perspective, experts in melanoma treatment presented advances in treating the disease on Thursday. The conference, held at the William and Ida Friday Center for Continuing Education, drew dermatologists, surgeons, medical oncologists and other health care providers to hear presentations on topics ranging from immunotherapy drugs and targeted treatments for metastatic disease, radiation strategies, and chemotherapy to prevent skin cancer.
A new implantable device delivers first-line treatment for pancreatic cancer directly to tumors, bypassing bloodstream and limiting widespread side effects. A team of researchers from the University of North Carolina including Drs. Jen Jen Yeh and Joseph DeSimone, has shown in preclinical research that the device can deliver a particularly toxic dose of drugs directly to pancreatic tumors to stunt their growth or, in some cases, shrink them. This approach would also spare the patient toxic side effects.
Zika, the virus currently causing worldwide concern due to its alarming connection to a neurological birth disorder, was discussed as part of a presentation on emerging infectious diseases for the UNC Lineberger-led seminar series titled "Virology in Progress." Helen Lazear, PhD, a UNC Lineberger member and an assistant professor in the UNC School of Medicine Department of Microbiology and Immunology, spoke about Zika and noted that experts know relatively little about the virus.