Grants

Croce and Byrd Receive NCI ‘Outstanding Investigator Awards’

The National Cancer Institute (NCI) issued a pair of Outstanding Investigator Awards (R35) to help two prominent cancer researchers at Ohio State further their groundbreaking work in cancer genetics and leukemia therapy. The prestigious multimillion-dollar awards, which provide long-term support for experienced investigators with outstanding records of productivity who propose to conduct exceptional research, will go to Carlo Croce, MD, and John C. Byrd, MD. It was the first time an investigator from Ohio State has received an R35 award. Croce will receive nearly $6.5 million over seven years for “Cancer Gene Discovery to Identify Targetable Targets,” and Byrd will receive nearly $6.4 million over seven years for “Targeted Therapy for Leukemia.”

OSUCCC – James Co-Leads Large Grant Study to Benefit Brain Cancer Patients

The OSUCCC – James is co-leading a federally funded collaborative study to uncover the genomic mechanisms of radiation therapy resistance in patients with glioblastoma, the most common and deadliest form of primary brain cancer. The U.S. Department of Defense awarded a $3.5 million, five-year grant to support this multi-institutional study, called “Genetic Evolution of Glioblastomas During Radiation and Temozolomide Therapy.” The study involves researchers at The Broad Institute of Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and Harvard, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute in Boston, Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland and the OSUCCC – James. Arnab Chakravarti, MD, professor and chair of the Department of Radiation Oncology at Ohio State, is a co-principal investigator. In their project abstract, the investigators say their study aims to determine how glioblastomas become resistant to radiation and temozolomide by examining genetic changes that these tumors undergo during treatment.

Scientists Land 4 NCI Grants for Cancer Control and Survivorship Studies

The National Cancer Institute (NCI) awarded four R01 grants collectively totaling more than $10.48 million to help teams of OSUCCC – James researchers further their studies in cancer control and survivorship. Two of the grants were for more than $3 million and two were for more than $2 million. The grants went to principal investigators Electra Paskett, PhD, MSPH (“Comparative Effectiveness of Interventions to Improve Screening Among Rural Women”); Janice Kiecolt-Glaser, PhD, (“Aerobic Capacity, Depression and Inflammatory Responsivity in Cancer Survivors”); Tonya Orchard, PhD, MS, RD (“Effect of N-3 Fatty Acids and Sugars on Chemotherapy-Induced Cognitive Deficits”); and A. Courtney DeVries, PhD (“Affective Consequences of Chemotherapy”).

Molecular Targeting Strategy in Head and Neck Cancer is Subject of Grant Study

A $2.42 million grant from the National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research will help principal investigator Quintin Pan, PhD, and colleagues examine a new molecular targeting strategy to reactivate tumor-suppressor genes that have been silenced in head and neck squamous cell carcinoma (HNSCC) related to human papillomavirus (HPV) infection. In their project abstract, the researchers say evidence has implicated HPV infection as a major risk factor for HNSCC—in particular oropharyngeal SCC—and that high-risk HPV16 is the most frequent HPV type detected in HNSCC. Epidemiological data, they add, indicate that HPV-positive HNSCC has increased three-fold in the past three decades in the United States and Europe. The scientists say their new molecular targeting strategy—disruption of the HPV16E6/E7- p300 interaction—could reactivate both the p53 and pRb tumor suppressor genes that have been silenced in HPV16-positive HNSCC, setting the stage for developing small molecules that could target HV16-positive HNSCC.

Grant Will Help Team Study Strategy to Curb Cachexia

A team led by principal investigator Carlo Croce, MD, is using a five-year, $2.14 million grant from the National Cancer Institute to probe the molecular mechanics of cachexia in lung cancer. Cachexia is unintentional weight loss resulting from a reduction in lean body mass and body fat, a syndrome that may accompany the development and growth of malignant tumors. Croce and his study team note that cachexia leads to poor quality of life, poor response to treatment and reduced survival in patients with lung cancer, the leading cause of cancer death among men and women in the United States. In their project abstract, the investigators state that there are no therapeutic strategies to curb cancer-associated cachexia, but they have identified a mechanism “by which cancer derived circulating microRNAs induce muscle cell death and cachexia.“ They plan to target select circulating microRNAs as a new therapeutic strategy for lung cancer-associated cachexia.

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