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The Neuropathy Association's Scientific Research Grants Focus: Autoimmune and Chemotherapy-Induced Neuropathies
Date:11/10/2008

NEW YORK, Nov. 10 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The Neuropathy Association has announced two awardees for its annual Scientific Research Grants Program.

Every year, The Neuropathy Association--a national patient-based non-profit organization dedicated to finding a cure for neuropathy--awards two scientific research grants, each for $80,000 over a two-year period.

This year's grant recipients--Gary J. Bennett, Ph.D. of McGill University (Quebec, Canada) and Helene Bour-Jordan, Ph.D. and co-principal investigator, Mark S. Anderson, M.D., Ph.D. of the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF) Diabetes Center--were chosen from eleven applicants involved in neuropathy research at medical institutions across North America.

Dr. Bennett's proposal, Mechanism of Paclitaxel-Evoked Peripheral Neuropathy, is based on data suggesting that paclitaxel (Taxol(R)) causes neuropathy by a novel and previously unrecognized mechanism. Paclitaxel is used by tens of thousands of patients as a first-line drug in the treatment of ovarian, breast and non-small cell lung cancer. The neuropathy, a serious side-effect of paclitaxel, can be severe---and often painful---thus preventing or limiting the use of the drug as an effective chemotherapeutic and leading to a decline in the patient's quality of life.

Dr. Bennett adds, "Preventing and controlling the neuropathy resulting from paclitaxel will, in turn, allow us to administer larger doses to more effectively kill cancer cells and save lives."

With their proposal, Identification of Neural Autoantigens in Autoimmune Peripheral Neuropathy, Drs. Bour-Jordan and Anderson hope to identify proteins of the peripheral nervous system that are targeted by the immune system in autoimmune neuropathy.

Dr. Bour-Jordan explains, "Autoantibodies in tissue-specific autoimmune diseases are excellent indicators of disease and are instrumental in identifying major autoantigens that are now used in clinical trials
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SOURCE The Neuropathy Association
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