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City of Hope to present latest data on cellular therapy, potential new medicines and natural products at the American Association for Cancer Research (AACR) Annual Meeting 2023

Innovative research on novel therapies for colorectal and prostate cancer, potential use of aronia berry extract and solutions to cancer health disparities to be discussed at leading cancer research conference

LOS ANGELES, March 16, 2023 /PRNewswire/ -- Researchers at City of Hope, one of the largest cancer research and treatment organizations in the United States, will present a number of new findings at this year's American Association for Cancer Research Annual Meeting, which will take place April 14 to 19.

Chimeric Antigen Receptor (CAR) T Cell Therapy

CAR T cells being developed to target tough-to-treat type of prostate cancer
"Development of adoptive T-cell therapies to target heterogeneity of mCRPC"
Poster Presentation 4104: Tuesday, April 18, 2023, 9 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.

For patients with metastatic castration resistant prostate cancer (mCRPC), durable treatment options are currently limited. Lupita Lopez, who is in Saul Priceman's lab at City of Hope, and team are aiming to find an innovative strategy to improve outcomes for those with prostate cancer by developing a chimeric antigen receptor (CAR) T cell therapy that specifically targets disease heterogeneity. An ongoing Phase 1 clinical trial at City of Hope with prostate stem cell antigen (PSCA)-directed CAR T cells has revealed that additional targets for neuroendocrine prostate cancer may be required to see lasting anti-tumor responses in mCRPC. Lopez and the team have established dual-targeted CAR T cell approaches that have potential to reach clinical trial for patients with mCRPC.

Cancer Disparities

Interventions in ethnic minority communities elucidate strategies for increasing colorectal cancer screenings
"Community outreach and engagement to increase colorectal cancer screening in ethnic minority communities"
Poster Presentation 1930: Monday, April 17, 2023, 9 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.

In an effort to increase colorectal cancer (CRC) screenings in medically vulnerable and minority populations, Kimlin Ashing and other researchers implemented a multicomponent intervention that included community outreach via a population-level, multiethnic media campaign and clinic-based interventions focused on provider training and patient education. To do this, City of Hope partnered with four federally qualified health centers as well as local organizations to help improve CRC screenings. In a two-year period, the team saw an overall increase in colorectal cancer screening rates across all four health center locations, despite staffing challenges during the COVID-19 pandemic. Ashing and others continue to evaluate the intervention's success with attempts to document individual and clinic improvements by race and ethnicity, and use implementation science for broad intervention dissemination.

Minority patients with both cancer and diabetes face more barriers to clinical care
"Racial/ethnic disparities in diabetes-related clinical care service use among cancer patients with cooccurring diabetes"
Poster Presentation 1928: Monday, April 17, 2023, 9 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.

By reviewing data from The Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System 2017-2021 on adult patients diagnosed with cancer and diabetes, Gaole Song and colleagues have identified racial and ethnic disparities in clinical care for this population. By investigating rates of annual diabetes-related hemoglobin tests and eye and foot examinations, the researchers found that Hispanic/Latinx and Pacific Islanders were less likely than their white counterparts to complete all three of these important health care activities. Other factors, like lack of insurance, also played a role in quality of care. These findings suggest that to fulfil appropriate standard of care gaps for minority patients, health coverage expansion, health system intervention (e.g., workflows, culturally and linguistically competent care) and provider training (e.g., bias, communications) are urgently needed toward fixing disparities, including inequities experienced among minority patients with concurrent cancer and diabetes.

Natural Products

Plant chemical compounds have potential to treat chemoresistant pancreatic cancer
"Berberine and emodin synergistically suppress the EGFR signaling cascade by targeting LAMB3 in pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma"
Poster Presentation 3821: Tuesday, April 18, 2023, 9 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.

Caiming Xu, Silei Sui and colleagues, who are part of Ajay Goel's lab at City of Hope, have provided the first evidence that a combination of berberine and emodine, two naturally occurring dietary botanicals, have anti-cancer properties when used to treat pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma (PDAC). The compounds found in plants were shown to have synergistic anti-tumor potential in PDAC cells when used together as opposed to individually. In addition, the combination of botanicals altered the expression of key proteins involved in tumor growth, making them a promising cost-effective and safe therapeutic target for PDAC patients, who often develop a resistance to further chemotherapy after the initial round and need alternative treatment options.

Aronia berry extract shows anti-cancer activity in colorectal cancer cells
"Novel evidence for the role of the p53 signaling pathway in mediating the anticancer effects of aronia berry extract in colorectal cancer cells"
Poster Presentation 3821: Tuesday, April 18, 2023, 9 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.

Yoh Asahi, who is in Ajay Goel's lab, and a team of researchers have investigated the anti-cancer properties of aronia berry extract, a naturally occurring phytochemical, for use against colorectal cancers (CRC). Because the extract is rich in polyphenols, which can protect the body from cancer cells, including CRC, Asahi and others believed it could be a novel complementary therapeutic option for patients with CRC, especially those for whom surgery is not an option. The team's studies found that aronia berry extract decreased the viability of CRC cells by inhibiting proliferation, migration, cellular survival and invasion of the cells, as well as inducing cell death in the cancer cells. The findings show that by modulating numerous cancer-related pathways, aronia berry extract acts as a safe and effective complementary and integrative medicine approach against CRC.

Potential new therapies

Early study of combination therapy shows promise for chemoresistant colorectal cancer
"Exploratory biomarker analyses in phase 1 study of regorafenib, ipilimumab, and nivolumab (RIN) in chemotherapy resistant microsatellite stable (MSS) metastatic colorectal cancer (mCRC)"
Poster Presentation 6676: Wednesday, April 19, 2023, 9 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.

Jian Ye and a team of researchers led a Phase 1 clinical trial that combined regorafenib (a multikinase inhibitor) with ipilimumab and nivolumab (both immunotherapies) to treat colorectal cancer that has metastasized and has not responded to chemotherapy. Their findings show that some patients without liver metastases responded to the combination therapy (RIN) while those with liver metastases did not. Those who experienced a clinical benefit from RIN had a more robust immune activation of the tumor microenvironment after one cycle. The researchers hypothesize that those with liver metastases may not be responsive to the immunotherapies due to a lower ratio of CD4 helper T cells to CD8 cytotoxic T cells than the other patients.


  1. Poster Presentation CT261: "A Phase 1, open-label, dose-escalation study of selinexor plus ruxolitinib in patients with treatment-naïve myelofibrosis"
  2. Poster Presentation CT166: "Similar outcomes regardless of post-randomization treatment with ibrutinib or ibrutinib + venetoclax in the phase 2 CAPTIVATE study of first-line ibrutinib + venetoclax in CLL"

About City of Hope
City of Hope's mission is to deliver the cures of tomorrow to the people who need them today. Founded in 1913, City of Hope has grown into one of the largest cancer research and treatment organizations in the U.S. and one of the leading research centers for diabetes and other life-threatening illnesses. City of Hope research has been the basis for numerous breakthrough cancer medicines, as well as human synthetic insulin and monoclonal antibodies. With an independent, National Cancer Institute-designated comprehensive cancer center at its core, City of Hope brings a uniquely integrated model to patients spanning cancer care, research and development, academics and training, and innovation initiatives. City of Hope's growing national system includes its Los Angeles campus, a network of clinical care locations across Southern California, a new cancer center in Orange County, California, and treatment facilities in Atlanta, Chicago and Phoenix. City of Hope's affiliated group of organizations includes Translational Genomics Research Institute and AccessHope.
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SOURCE City Of Hope

For further information: Katherine Ramirez, 626-678-4163,