CURE Childhood Cancer is dedicated to conquering childhood cancer through funding targeted research. Currently, we’re supporting eleven specific projects, most of which focus on finding effective treatments for the 20% of kids who do not survive.
As we wrap up the 2011-2012 year we wanted to spend some time in a series of blogs giving you a summary of the research initiatives that we helped fund throughout the year. In the past 12 months we have committed more than $1.2 million in research grants and believe it is important for all of us to understand the progress of these research initiatives.
Below is a summary of Dr. Kelly Goldsmith’s research study and the progress that it has made in the past year.
Dr. Goldsmith is conducting a study that addresses an important area of research in the mechanisms of tumor growth and treatment resistance in high-risk neuroblastoma, which may result in improved treatment strategies. It explores several areas, including the pathway that prevents normal regulated cell death (apoptosis), that allows tumor to continue its growth; and it seeks to characterize the regulation of an important genetic pathway causing chemotherapy resistance.
Recently, the study was able to identify a protein (mcl-1) that is acting as a barrier to treatment, by promoting chemotherapy resistance. his work has shown that this protein is regulated or manged by another called EGFR, and suggests that treatments should target the regulating protein, EGFR. This has potential to improve success in treating resistance in relapsed tumors. It has also identified an important molecule, Bax, that is de-activated in these tumors, which leads to failure of apoptosis. Future work will try to characterize what causes that de-activation, and will look to ways to reverse that.
The results of this research will be published in Cancer Research and the data is expected to be used for the Department of Defense Pediatric Grant application this year.