RESEARCHERS LAND 2 BIG NCI GRANTS TO STUDY THYROID CANCER
The National Cancer Institute awarded two grants totaling approximately $22.6 million to Ohio State researchers for multidisciplinary studies of thyroid cancer, which is rising in incidence at the fastest rate of all cancers. Matthew Ringel, MD, co-director of the Thyroid Cancer Unit at the OSUCCC – James, is principal investigator for both an $11.3 million Program Project Grant (PPG) renewal to study “Genetic and Signaling Pathways in Epithelial Thyroid Cancer” and an $11.3 million Specialized Program of Research Excellence (SPORE) grant to help improve the lives of patients with this malignancy. Both grants entail four interactive projects involving several investigators. The PPG also involves scientists at the Cleveland Clinic Foundation, and the SPORE involves scientists at The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center.
$18.7 MILLION FEDERAL GRANT WILL HELP OHIO STATE ESTABLISH TOBACCO CENTER OF REGULATORY SCIENCE
The Ohio State University received an $18.7 million federal grant to establish a research center for studying tobacco-use patterns, NICOTINE DEPENDENCE AND CANCER BIOMARKERS, industry marketing practices and public perceptions that will help the U.S. Food and Drug Administration put science behind its new role in regulating tobacco. Ohio State’s center is one of 14 established nationally under this federal initiative, called the Tobacco Centers of Regulatory Science Program. The National Cancer Institute will administer the Ohio State funding. Co-leading the new center are OSUCCC Deputy Director Peter Shields, MD, a specialist in identifying biomarkers to assess lifestyle- related cancer risk factors, and Mary Ellen Wewers, PhD, MPH, RN, a professor in the College of Public Health at Ohio State.
OSU PARTNERS WITH MIRCOLIN BIO INC. TO BRING TRANSFORMATIONAL CANCER DISCOVERIES TO PATIENTS
The Ohio State University signed an exclusive worldwide agreement with Microlin Bio Inc. for licensing a large portfolio of the university’s groundbreaking cancer discoveries. The portfolio includes nearly 100 issued and pending microRNA patents that could lead to more targeted ways to diagnose and treat prostate, ovarian, colon and lung cancers. Additionally, Microlin Bio Inc. has licensed a novel nucleic acid delivery technology to deliver these transformational therapies to cancer cells. These technologies, years in the making, were developed by OSUCCC – James researchers Carlo Croce, MD, Robert Lee, PhD, and collaborators from the National Cancer Institute with the National Institutes of Health. More than a decade ago, Croce was the first to link small cellular molecules called microRNA to cancer.
GRANT SUPPORTS STUDY OF BARRIERS TO VIRAL THERAPY FOR BRAIN CANCER
Researchers led by principal investigators Michael A. Caligiuri, MD, of the OSUCCC – James, and E. Antonio Chiocca, MD, PhD, of Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston, received a National Cancer Institute Program Project Grant of approximately $8.4 million to find ways of circumventing biological barriers to viral therapy of brain tumors. Doctors use cancer-killing viruses to treat some patients with aggressive brain tumors, but clinical trials have shown that these therapies are less effective than expected. A study led by the OSUCCC – James and published in the journal Nature Medicine showed that the problem is due in part to the patient’s immune system attacking the anticancer virus. These findings and others helped the researchers obtain the NCI grant.
CHILDHOOD SARCOMA STUDIES RECEIVE MAJOR GRANT SUPPORT
A multi-institutional team of researchers led by principal investigator Peter Houghton, PhD, of the OSUCCC – James and Nationwide Children’s Hospital, received from the National Cancer Institute a $7.8 million Program Project Grant to develop therapeutic approaches for patients with advanced childhood sarcoma. The researchers note that, while more than 70 percent of pediatric sarcoma patients are considered cured, the outcome is still poor for those with advanced or metastatic disease. Because additional cytotoxic drugs alone are unlikely to increase cure rates, the researchers intend to explore alternative and complementary approaches centering on three separate but integrated signaling pathways active in childhood sarcomas.