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News: Featured Story

Unraveling a Viral Maze

Wednesday, September 23rd, 2020

When a new coronavirus began infecting people in China, then spread rapidly across Europe and became a global pandemic, Vanderbilt researchers provided international leadership for assessing its impact on cancer patients. Jeremy Warner, MD, MS, and Leora Horn, MD, MSc, worried about the potential and unique threats that COVID-19, the mysterious disease caused by the […]

Leadership Transitions

Wednesday, September 23rd, 2020

As a new decade begins, researchers are passing on the baton to others who will lead some of Vanderbilt-Ingram Cancer Center’s most important initiatives. After serving 16 years as associate director for Research Education, Ann Richmond, PhD, Ingram Professor of Cancer Research, is stepping down from the leadership post. Richmond, who is internationally known for […]

The GVHD tightrope

Wednesday, September 23rd, 2020

Brenda Bisson was 37 in 2004 when she found out she had acute myeloid leukemia (AML), a type of blood cancer. Her three children were 14, 8 and 16 months at the time. Her marriage was strained. Her prognosis was dire. Months after her diagnosis, she had an allogeneic stem cell transplant at Vanderbilt-Ingram Cancer […]

Handed Down

Wednesday, September 23rd, 2020

John Joseph Heirigs either built or preserved some of the most iconic landmarks in Memphis. His construction company erected the Egyptian-themed entrance to the zoo and renovated the historic buildings along Beale Street. An avid outdoorsman, he set the state record in 1962 for bagging a white tail deer, and he spent weekends with his […]

‘Why not me?’

Wednesday, September 23rd, 2020

If you came across Brooke Thomas with her family and friends “eating their way through Nashville,” as she describes it, you’d never know she was really there for cancer treatment at Vanderbilt-Ingram Cancer Center. Thomas has metastatic triple-negative breast cancer, and admits that in the beginning she was often asking herself, “Why me?” But she […]

A Clear Goal

Wednesday, January 15th, 2020

Living at the epicenter of the region with the nation’s highest lung cancer mortality rates, Sallie Sawyer of Gladeville, Tennessee, smoked for 50 years and has evaded death twice. She participated in a clinical trial for the early detection of lung cancer, which led to her first tumor being discovered when it was just a […]


Wednesday, January 15th, 2020

SPORE may have been just an acronym, not a nod to the biological definition, when the National Cancer Institute (NCI) launched its Specialized Programs of Research Excellence in 1992. But the SPOREs are living up to their catchy name. They are behaving like biological spores: casting their funding “seeds” far and wide to germinate entirely […]

No Sugarcoating

Wednesday, January 15th, 2020

Betsy Williams has firsthand advice for parents on the fence about whether their adolescent children should be vaccinated for the common human papilloma virus (HPV), which can lead to six types of cancer. Don’t hesitate. Do it. Williams, 62, was diagnosed with an HPV-linked head and neck cancer in January 2018. After surgery to remove […]

Southern Connection

Wednesday, January 15th, 2020

Lara Ramsey wanted a second opinion about breast cancer treatment options, so she steeled herself for a two-hour drive from the forested hills of Dawson Springs, Kentucky, to the traffic mazes around Nashville. At Vanderbilt-Ingram Cancer Center (VICC), she got answers to her questions, decided on a treatment plan and learned she could cut her […]

A Come-From-Behind Win

Friday, August 2nd, 2019

­ Ron Duncan kept Googling his cancer diagnosis and coming up with the same answer: death. Having just gotten the news from his primary care provider, he wanted to know what his options were with peritoneal carcinomatosis, a cancer that had originated in his appendix then spread throughout his abdominal cavity. His only inkling that […]

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