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Pushing the Cancer Envelope
Basic Research in CHORI's Center for Cancer Research (CCR)

Scientists in CHORI’s CCR conduct a variety of research programs that address fundamental issues related to cancer development, progression, and treatment.

Our research focuses on identifying and developing methods for early tumor detection, new cancer drugs, and better ways to deliver drugs directly to cancer cells.  At the same time, we aim to enhance the effectiveness of existing drugs and radiation by finding ways to reverse drug resistance in cancer cells and protect normal tissues from the side effects of therapy.

Underlying all our research is a desire to better understand the cancer cell and to translate this knowledge into more effective and personalized interventions.

Julie Saba, MD, PhD investigates the functions and metabolism of sphingosine-1-phosphate (S1P), a lipid molecule found in every cell in the body. S1P is responsible for regulating cell growth, differentiation, migration and apoptosis and thus a prime suspect in the causes of lymphomas, leukemias, and other forms of cancer.

Bruce Ames, PhD is among the most cited scientists in all fields and the pioneer of the Ames Test, which identifies potentially carcinogenic substances.  Ground-breaking results of his recent studies suggest that common deficiencies in vitamins and minerals can damage DNA through mechanisms that are similar to those of radiation or carcinogenic chemicals.  “What we eat early in life or what the fetus is exposed to in utero may have effects on our DNA that surface many years later,” explains Dr. Ames.

Pieter de Jong, PhD has developed technology that was used in the human genome sequencing project.  Now, he is using similar global approaches to explore the genetics of human disease, including leukemias and lymphomas. 

Ervin Epstein, MD investigates the molecular basis of skin diseases.  In his investigations, Dr. Epstein has identified a fundamental signaling pathway that forms the underlying basis for basal cell carcinoma. He is using this information to develop a preventive approach to skin cancer.

Trudy Forte, PhD is developing stealth nanotechnology approaches to deliver chemotherapeutic drugs directly to brain tumor cells.  She aims to improve the effectiveness of these drugs while reducing their toxicity when used in the treatment of brain tumors, which are the most common form of solid tumors in children.

Greg Moe, PhD serendipitously identified an antibody against infectious bacteria that cross-reacts with a protein expressed on the cells of many types of cancer.  He is using this insight to develop methods to identify and treat a variety of malignancies using vaccines and immunotherapy.

These are but a few of the ways in which CHORI researchers in the CCR are pushing the envelope of basic cancer research.  Explore the Investigator links in the sidebar menu to discover all the basic research conducted in CHORI’s CCR.

revised: Thursday, August 2, 2012 7:11 PM

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