About Vanessa Wasta

Posts by Vanessa Wasta:

Video Pick of the Week


I recently visited Dr. Elias Zambidis' lab to discuss his research on turning blood cells into heart cells.  They pioneered a method that uses plasmids (tiny rings of DNA) rather than viruses to transfer genetic material into blood cells, which is the first among several steps on the path to becoming heart cells.  Their newly-developed recipe to(...)

Report: Cancer Deaths Decline


The National Cancer Institute's latest report says that cancer deaths between 2003 and 2007 declined, continuing a trend that started two decades ago.  The report also outlined encouraging news that lung cancer deaths decreased in women.  Death rates for men with lung cancer began dropping in the early 1990s.  Still, lung cancer remains the most(...)

Our Cancer blog finds a new home


Patients, caregivers, friends, family, doctors, nurses and researchers...we're proud to introduce a new blog in the Johns Hopkins family.  The Our Cancer blog, authored by Laurie Singer Sievers and previously hosted by National Public Radio (NPR), has a new home here. Johns Hopkins is a natural landing spot for Our Cancer.  It was here that Laurie's(...)

A Prize, Promotion and Press Story


About ten years ago, researcher Bert Vogelstein appeared with Katie Couric on the Today Show to announce new research on a stool test for colon cancer.  Since then, he's mapped scores of cancer genomes to boost knowledge about cancer-related genes, and the Brupbacher Foundation in Zurich has now awarded Vogelstein a prize for his research(...)

Cancer Survivors…12 Million and Counting


The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and National Cancer Institute (NCI) issued a report today estimating the number of cancer survivors at nearly 12 million people. This is more than double the number of cancer survivors from 10 years ago. Cancer centers nationwide are leading efforts to understand the unique needs of survivors, including follow-up(...)

Breast Cancer Patients: Lymph Nodes – Leave Them Alone?


When most people think about breast cancer, they don’t often think about the small, pea-sized structures that dot the body and help fight infections and other foreign substances.  But it’s top-of- mind for many patients who undergo surgery for breast cancer. Lymph nodes are sites for cancer spread, and certain nodes are removed during surgery(...)

World Cancer Day


Cancer is now the leading cause of death worldwide, according to the World Health Organization.  It crosses all boundaries, gender, ages, ethnicities and strikes both the wealthy and poor.  Thus, it will take a global effort to reduce the burden of cancer on our societies. Stand Up to Cancer released the video below to ask(...)

Cancer News Review


This month's Cancer News Review podcast with Kimmel Cancer Center director Bill Nelson begins with updates on the field of head and neck cancer in light of the encouraging news that actor Michael Douglas' cancer is in remission. Nelson says that there is an emerging story in oropharyngeal cancers (those that are in the back(...)

Pancreatic cancer


There are few cancers that are as tough to beat as pancreatic cancer.  When it is found, the disease has usually spread, and only about 20 percent of newly-diagnosed patients are eligible for surgery. But if there is ever a time when there are high hopes for new ways to detect and treat it, the time is now.  Scientists at Johns(...)