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American Cancer Society awards new research and training grants
Date:4/8/2013

ana-Farber Cancer Institute is seeking new treatments for pancreatic cancer, one of the most deadly of human cancers. The disease is currently highly resistant to all available treatments, including chemotherapy and radiation. Nearly all pancreatic cancers have cellular mutations that activate a cell protein called the Kras oncogene. Dr. Kimmelman is studying what triggers this oncogene to cause cancer. Such an understanding is basic to development of effective treatment of this disease.

Russell Kent Pachynski, MD, of Stanford University is investigating how the human immune system can be stimulated and manipulated to eradicate cancer. Dr. Pachynski is interested in targeting cancer at the cellular level to increase the cell's immune response. He is studying the role that a cell protein called chemerin plays in producing immunity to cancer, and he has demonstrated in experiments in mice that tumors exposed to chemerin grow more slowly and are significantly smaller. His studies could serve as the basis for development of immunotherapies to treat many different types of cancer.

Hongbo Chi, PhD, of St. Jude Children's Research Hospital is researching the role that a protein called mTOR plays in regulating human T-cell growth and function. T-cells are the body's disease-fighting agents. Dr. Chi is focusing on how mTOR functions and maintains T-cell equilibrium and how disruption of this equilibrium from mutations in mTOR can lead to many cancers, including T-cell acute lymphoblastic leukemia. His goal is to translate his research into new cancer treatments.

Marina K. Holz, PhD, of Albert Einstein College of Medicine is focusing her research on ways to improve treatment of the nearly 60% of all breast cancers that are estrogen receptor-positive. Current endocrine therapies, such as tamoxifen or aromatase inhibitors, are effective treatments for only about half of these cancers. Dr. Holz is studying how a cell-growth regulator, mTOR, can be com
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Contact: David Sampson
david.sampson@cancer.org
American Cancer Society
Source:Eurekalert

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