Anna Megdell
Science writer and editor

Megdell joined the University of Michigan Rogel Cancer Center communications team in 2022. Prior to that she served as the natural sciences writer for the University of Michigan College of Literature, Science, and the Arts. Contact: [email protected]

megdell
DNA helix technology robotic cybernetic image
Health Lab
Metabolite tells cells whether to repair DNA
Findings from researchers at the University of Michigan Health Rogel Cancer Center, published in Cancer Discovery, show how a specific nucleotide metabolite called GTP controls responses to radiation and chemotherapy in an unexpected way.
Health Lab
Hungry for more
Metabolism pathways make tumors sensitive or resistant to treatments. A collaborative group leverages these avenues to explore the growing foundation of new potential therapies
vial of blood with blue background cell floating
Health Lab
Hitting the mark
University of Michigan Rogel Cancer Center researchers are unraveling its nuances, advancing enabling technologies, advocating for patients and figuring out how to ethically integrate this technology into clinical care.
blood sample
Health Lab
Early findings suggest clinical and lab-based approach critical to tracking head and neck cancer recurrence
Early findings of two studies from the University of Michigan Rogel Cancer Center shed light on new ways to anticipate recurrence in HPV-positive head and neck cancer sooner. The papers, published in Cancer and Oral Oncology, offer clinical and technological perspectives on how to measure if recurrence is happening earlier than current blood tests allow, and provide a framework for a new, more sensitive blood test that could help in this monitoring.
nanoparticles floating green blue
Health Lab
Gene therapy for brain tumor shows promising early results in humans
Research from the University of Michigan Department of Neurosurgery and Rogel Cancer Center shows promising early results that a therapy combining cell-killing and immune-stimulating drugs are safe and effective in extending survival for patients with gliomas, a highly aggressive form of brain cancer.
pink purple microscopic cells
Health Lab
Study shows new approach to target deadly form of prostate cancer
A study from the University of Michigan Rogel Cancer Center uncovers a new mechanism to explain why some prostate tumors switch from a common, treatable form to a more rare and aggressive form of prostate cancer.
gloved hand doing microplate samples
Health Lab
Study brings insight to kidney cancer with gene mutation
A study from clinicians and researchers at the University of Michigan Rogel Cancer Center reveals findings from over 800 clinical assays performed for kidney patients with MiTF family gene mutations.
microscopic image close up colorful blue red yellow
Health Lab
Study finds cancer cells use a new fuel in absence of sugar
Sugar free: investigator finds cancer cells use a new fuel in absence of sugar
red cells mouth opening dark background
Health Lab
Saturated fatty acids promote immune escape of oral cancers
A team of Michigan Medicine researchers have identified a mechanism in mice for how obesity affects some oral cancers’ ability to escape from the immune system.
purple cells under microscope
Health Lab
You’ve got some nerve
Researchers at Michigan Medicine have identified a new metric to articulate the relationship between nerve density and oral cancer. The study investigated normalized nerve density to translate previous mechanistic studies into a context that could be used in the clinic.
blues gloves in lab samples container
Health Lab
“Cell food” gives insight into T cell metabolism
By feeding T cells in the lab, researchers revealed a new metabolic pathway that could help make immunology more effective.
cancer cells microscope blue green
Health Lab
Certain gene signaling rewires tumors after immunotherapy
For some patients, immunotherapy furthers tumor progression instead of halting it. What distinguishes those who benefit from those who don’t?
Mouse model of human colorectal cancer
Health Lab
High levels of ammonia in colon tumors inhibits T cell growth and response to immunotherapy
In mouse models and serum samples, an FDA-approved drug that lowers ammonia levels made the tumors more sensitive to treatment.
cell slides under microscope
Health Lab
P53 could be key to therapies for salivary gland cancer
Mouse models show that activating a non-mutated form of the gene could lead to developing therapies for this deadly form of cancer. 
ovarian cancer tumor under microscope lab note
Health Lab
Machine learning creates opportunity for new personalized therapies
In cell-line and mouse models of ovarian cancer, researchers developed an interdisciplinary approach to identify metabolic vulnerabilities in certain genes that could be targeted to kill cancer cells.