Philadelphia – The American Association for Cancer Research announces the first 11 recipients of the new Jeannik M. Littlefield-AACR Grants in Metastatic Colon Cancer Research. The awards, ranging to $250,000, were established in February 2006, to support innovative research projects designed to accelerate the discovery and development of new agents to treat metastatic colon cancer. Grant awards were selected through a rigorous and highly competitive process by a committee of accomplished senior scientists. AACR is currently distributing a total of $2,644,977 to the successful investigators.
"Among the 114 applications submitted, these 11 awardees were judged to have the most merit," said David Irwin, Ph.D., managing director of the Science and Education Division of the AACR. "We offer our sincere congratulations to the investigators, and anticipate they will make substantial contributions to this field of cancer research."
The Jeannik M. Littlefield-AACR Grants in Metastatic Colon Cancer Research are sponsored by Jacques and Sandy Littlefield of Portolo Valley, California, who donated $3 million to the AACR in late 2005. They are named for Mr. Littlefield's mother.
Recipients of the 2006 Jeannik M. Littlefield-AACR Grants in Metastatic Colon Cancer Research are:
Peter Carmeliet, M.D., Ph.D., Flanders Interuniversity Institute for Biotechnology, "Preclinical Development of anti-P1GF Antibodies for Metastatic Colon Cancer." In the quest to block angiogenesis, this study will test a homologue of VEGF – P1GF. Antibodies to P1GF will be used in cell lines and xenograft models. The approach has strong potential for clinical application because blocking P1GF should not interfere with normal angiogenesis.
Steven A. Curley, M.D., University of Texas M.D. Anderson Cancer Center, "Carbon Nanotubules and Gold Nanoparticles as Radiofrequency Targets." The goals are to couple antibodies to nanotubules and gold particles to affect specific homing to metastases. Inoperable metastases can then be thermally ablated using microwaves.
Wafik El-Deiry, M.D., Ph.D., University of Pennsylvania, "Novel Therapy for Resistant Metastatic Colon Cancer." The goals are to define the mechanisms in colon cancer that make tumor cells resistant to apoptosis, and develop combination drug therapies that can reverse the apoptotic defect.
Edgar G. Engelman, M.D., Stanford University, "T-Cell Signaling in Metastatic Colon Cancer." This study will examine the failure of the immune system to detect colon cancer cells with the goal of identifying and profiling tumor-associated signaling abnormalities in T-cells. This will affect choice of therapy and will show whether signalling abnormalities can be reversed using immunotherapy.
Douglas V. Faller, M.D., Ph.D., Boston University School of Medicine, "PKC-Delta as a Therapeutic Target in Colon Cancer." The approach is to inhibit PKC-delta which is not critical for normal cellular growth but which, in tumor cells, inhibits Ras-mediated apoptosis. Molecular strategies will identify more active and more specific inducers of the Ras-mediated apoptotic pathway.
Robert D. Ladner, Ph.D., University of Southern California, "Histone Deacetylase Inhibitors for the Treatment of Metastatic Colon Cancer." New approaches will be developed to enhance the effectiveness of 5FU using histone de-acetylase inhibitors.
Eric Lagasse, Ph.D., PharmD, University of Pittsburgh, "Metastatic Colon Cancer, Stem Cells and Bioreactors." Using an artificial bioreactor that models the environment in liver and colon cancer, stem cells will be identified and expanded in vitro. Therapy will then be refined and customized preclinically before being administered to patients.
Nouri Neamati, Ph.D., University of Southern California, "Preclinical Development of SC144 in Metastatic Colon Cancer." A new agent, SC144 has been shown to cause up-regulation of IL24 - a very potent anticancer protein. SC144 will be fully evaluated in mouse models and then, potentially, trials will be extended to humans.
Boris C. Pasche, M.D., Ph.D., Northwestern University, "Targeting the TGFBR1*6A in Metastatic Colon Cancer." This study will use antibodies to TGFB and assess their effects on colon tumor growth in mice. A humanized antibody will be used in a Phase I/II clinical trial.
Gary K. Schwartz, M.D., Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, "Targeting the Notch Signaling Pathway in Metastatic Colon Cancer." The effectiveness of combining notch and ras inhibitors such as gamma secretase inhibitors will be examined in colon cancer cells as a prerequisite to designing a Phase I clinical trial.
Oliver Stoeltzing, M.D., Universitaet Regensburg, "The Role of Hsp 90 in Hepatic Growth of Colorectal Cancer Metastases." Using colon cell lines and xenografts, this study will examine the role of tissue hypoxia in colorectal hepatic metastases and the suitability of targeting Hsp 90 for molecular targeted therapies.
The mission of the American Association for Cancer Research is to prevent and cure cancer. Founded in 1907, AACR is the world's oldest and largest professional organization dedicated to advancing cancer research. The membership includes more than 24,000 basic, translational, and clinical researchers; health care professionals; and cancer survivors and advocates in the United States and more than 60 other countries. AACR marshals the full spectrum of expertise from the cancer community to accelerate progress in the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of cancer through high-quality scientific and educational programs. It funds innovative, meritorious research grants. The AACR Annual Meeting attracts more than 17,000 participants who share the latest discoveries and developments in the field. Special Conferences throughout the year present novel data across a wide variety of topics in cancer research, treatment, and patient care. AACR publishes five major peer-reviewed journals: Cancer Research; Clinical Cancer Research; Molecular Cancer Therapeutics; Molecular Cancer Research; and Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers & Prevention. Its most recent publication, CR, is a magazine for cancer survivors, patient advocates, their families, physicians, and scientists. It provides a forum for sharing essential, evidence-based information and perspectives on progress in cancer research, survivorship, and advocacy.
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