Research Accomplishments

New Cervical Cancer Vaccine Results From URMC Researchers’ Work

One of the greatest breakthroughs in cancer prevention has its origins in research done by three virologists at the University of Rochester Medical Center. Richard Reichman, M.D., William Bonnez, M.D., and Robert Rose, Ph.D., discovered a method to protect against several strains of human papillomavirus (HPV), including those that cause the most prevalent forms of cervical cancer. This research led Merck & Co. to develop Gardasil®, the first pure anti-cancer vaccine, approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in June, 2006.
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Optimized Brachytherapy For Prostate Cancer

A software-based device called PIPER (Prostate Implant Planning Engine for Radiotherapy) was developed and patented by the University of Rochester Medical Center in 2001. Bracytherapy involves surgically implanting tiny radioactive seeds into the prostate to destroy cancer cells. While physicians have been using computer programs to help them decide how and where to place the seeds, the PIPER system is revolutionary because of its speed and optimization capabilities.

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Shaped Beam Surgery for Patients with Metastatic Cancer

The URMC is among a small group of locations nationwide to offer the revolutionary Shaped Beam Surgery technology called Novalis®. More importantly, research done by pioneering investigators and doctors at the Wilmot Cancer Center have led to a breakthrough discovery that allows the technology to be used for tumors throughout the body, in addition to the brain cancers it was originally designed to treat.

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Promising Research Targets Cancer Stem Cells

The Wilmot Cancer Center has one of three formal cancer stem cell research programs in the United States, along with Stanford and Harvard medical centers. Cancer stem cells are the first cells that undergo mutations leading to cancer and are thought to be key targets for therapy. Cancer stem cells are not embryonic stem cells, the focus of heated debate.

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Cancer-Associated Thrombosis Study Group

Some cancer patients are at risk for developing blood clots in the arms or legs, but Wilmot Cancer Center researchers discovered five variables that offer clues to predict a patient’s likelihood of suffering from this increasingly common problem.

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