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KCP hosts 3rd annual retreat for trainees


The 3rd Annual Kidney Cancer Program Retreat, held at the UT Southwestern Faculty Club, brought together more than 30 medical students, interns, and residents to learn about research opportunities available with the KCP. The retreat, which was organized by Drs. Alex Bowman, Xiaosong Meng, and Roy Elias, featured presentations by early stage faculty who were previous KCP trainees and highlighted resources available through the Program. Sherwin Kelekar, an M.D., Ph.D. student in Dr. Ralph DeBerardinis' lab, and Dr. Alexander Kenigsberg, a 3rd-year urology resident, received a $1,000 prize for best poster in the medical student and resident categories, respectively. 

Novel classification of kidney cancer refines diagnosis


UT Southwestern investigators have developed an innovative framework for classifying renal cancer. Based on extensive analyses of tumor architecture, cytology, and microenvironment, Dr. Payal Kapur and colleagues defined 33 parameters for clear cell RCC (ccRCC) according to which they developed a classification for nine subtypes of the disease. The findings, published in EBioMedicine, represent the first comprehensive catalog of ccRCC, the most common type of kidney cancer. By applying mathematical models and a co-occurring matrix with superimposed vectorial processes based on tumor size and grade, investigators developed the first morphology-driven evolutionary model of the disease. Press Release

Tumor dependency on HIF-2 pathway may prove Achilles heel for kidney cancer


In a study published in Clinical Cancer Research, KCP investigators uncovered the first core dependency in clear cell RCC (ccRCC), the most common type of kidney cancer. Through analyses of tumor samples from patients enrolled in a clinical trial of a first-in-class HIF-2 inhibitor (PT2385), Kevin Courtney, M.D., Ph.D., and colleagues report the identification of an acquired resistance mutation that developed in the HIF-2α protein in response to the drug. The mutation reveals a fundamental dependency of kidney cancer on HIF-2. The finding is a telling indicator that other strategies targeting HIF-2 are likely to be effective in treating kidney cancer.

Kidney Cancer Program recognized among North Texas' leading innovators


The Kidney Cancer Program was named a finalist for the Innovation in Healthcare Award as part of D Magazine and D CEO's inaugural Innovation Awards. The awards recognize companies, entrepreneurs, and other North Texas leaders who are redefining their industries. Blue Cross Blue Shield of Texas and three others join the KCP as the five finalists named in the healthcare category. Other notable finalists among the 13 award categories include Capital One, Samsung Electronics America, Mary Kay, and Veridesk. Winners of the 2020 Innovation Awards will be announced on January 7 at a ceremony hosted at The Tower Club in downtown Dallas. All of the finalists will be featured in the January/February issue of D CEO magazine, as well as online at

New BOLD initiative to spur kidney cancer innovation


Drawing on its collective talent and resources, the Kidney Cancer Program has launched a new initiative to bring KCP faculty together each month to brainstorm kidney cancer projects and ideas. Dubbed "BOLD," the informal monthly program platform is meant to foster, explore, and capture bold, impactful, and innovative new ways of thinking about and treating kidney cancer.

Kidney Cancer Program earns Leaders in Clinical Excellence Award


The Kidney Cancer Program was honored with the Leaders in Clinical Excellence 2019 Program Development Award. The award recognizes a group of clinical faculty and staff who have partnered to create, develop, and sustain an innovative program that significantly advances patient care. Marking its second year, the Leaders in Clinical Excellence awards program was established in 2018 by UT Southwestern Medical Center's Board of Directors to celebrate the innovation and collaboration that are foundational to UTSW's success. 

KCP recognized at World Affairs Council award dinner


Recognized for its pioneering research and international team of physicians and scientists, the Kidney Cancer Program was recognized at the Dallas-Fort Worth World Affairs Council's H. Neil Mallon Award dinner. The Mallon Award, which honors a prominent North Texas business or civic leader, was presented to former Dallas Mayor Mike Rawlings. The KCP's award-winning program was spotlighted for its global talent and nationally recognized discoveries that are moving the needle in cancer care. In 2013, Mayor Rawlings inaugurated the KCP at UT Southwestern, and six years later it has grown to be one of the country's leading centers for kidney cancer research and treatment.

Discovery of metabolic vulnerabilities in kidney tumors earns award for UTSW investigator


The Kidney Cancer Association has awarded Dr. Akash Kaushik the 2019 Young Investigator Award for his discoveries on glutamine metabolism in kidney cancer. Dr. Kaushik - a post-doctoral researcher in the lab of Dr. Ralph DeBerardinis, Co-Leader of the Kidney Cancer Program (KCP) - showed that renal cancers use glutamine to drive important cellular processes like the Krebs cycle, which is required for the growth of cancer cells. Press Release

Annual patient conference highlights latest in kidney cancer treatments, clinical trials, and UTSW discoveries


For the nearly 300 people in attendance, the 6th annual KCP patient conference was an opportunity to learn about the latest in kidney cancer treatments, research, and clinical trials, and engage in one-on-one conversations with the more than 30 UT Southwestern clinicians and research scientists in attendance. In addition to an expert-led, multidisciplinary panel discussion of a complex patient case, this year's General Session included a keynote address by Dr. James Willson, Chief Scientific Officer of the Cancer Prevention and Research Institute of Texas, as well as a presentation by Dr. Alex Bowman on a novel radiology test developed by the KCP to identify patients most likely to respond to immunotherapy. Breakout session topics ranged from genetics and risk factors to the latest developments in imaging, radiation and targeted therapies, and artificial intelligence. 

KCP featured at inaugural research summit


Kidney Cancer Program Co-Leader Dr. Hans Hammers served as co-chair for the inaugural Kidney Cancer Research Summit, held Sept. 12-13, 2019, in Philadelphia. Hosted by the Kidney Cancer Coalition - a prominent national patient advocacy organization, the event spotlighted the translational research being fueled by grant funding from the Dept. of Defense's Congressionally Directed Medical Research Program (CDMRP). UT Southwestern Medical Center's Laura Banaszynski, Ph.D., a CDMRP award recipient, discussed her research on the SETD2 tumor suppressor protein, and Dr. James Brugarolas gave an update on the KCP SPORE award.