CTRC receives grant to further develop novel therapies for leukemia

SAN ANTONIO (September 17, 2008)— The Cancer Therapy & Research Center (CTRC) at The University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio announced today that Jennifer Carew, Ph.D., and Francis Giles, M.D., have been awarded a $150,000 grant from LeukemiaTexas for research to develop novel therapies for the treatment of leukemia.

Dr. Carew and Dr. Giles are the principal investigators on the project titled “Aurora A: A Novel Therapeutic Target for Imatinib, Dasatinib, Nilotinib, and Bosutinib-Resistant Chronic Myeloid Leukemia (CML) and Ph+ Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia.” Despite the recent development of several new drugs for the treatment of chronic myeloid leukemia, some patients are resistant to these novel agents and, thus, have an extremely poor prognosis. There is a dire need to identify and develop new therapies for patients who do not benefit from existing treatments.

“This award from LeukemiaTexas will accelerate our development of agents that can rescue those few patients with CML who are not getting a full benefit from current agents. Those drugs have only been developed in the past decade and have caused enormous improvements in patients’ survival. We will persist until everyone enjoys these benefits, and to do so we need to increase the range of agents,” said Dr. Giles, deputy director of the CTRC and director of the CTRC’s Institute for Drug Development (IDD).

“We are very excited to support this promising research,” said Stephen Young, executive director of LeukemiaTexas. “LeukemiaTexas also recognizes the importance of supporting young researchers who often have difficulty obtaining funding. As such, this grant is a Young Investigator Award in recognition of Dr. Carew.”

LeukemiaTexas is an independent, nonprofit corporation dedicated to fighting the life-threatening blood cancer of leukemia through the funding of leukemia research and patient aid in Texas. LeaukemiaTexas awards grants for research to enhance the understanding of leukemia and its cause, to develop new and improved methods of treatment, and, ultimately, to find a cure for leukemia. All grants are awarded to Texas nonprofit institutions for research conducted in Texas.

As the only National Cancer Institute (NCI)-Designated Cancer Center in South Texas, the CTRC is recognized by its peers for its extensive resources and scientific excellence in the development of more effective, novel approaches to cancer prevention, diagnosis and therapy. The CTRC was recently recognized by the Myelodysplastic Syndrome Foundation as a Center of Excellence in the research, diagnosis and treatment of myelodysplastic syndromes (MDS), which are diseases of the blood and bone marrow, including but not limited to blood cancers. The IDD, a research division of CTRC, is internationally recognized for conducting the largest Phase I oncology drug trials program in the world, and has participated in the clinical and/or preclinical development of many of the cancer drugs approved by the U.S. Food & Drug Administration.

 

The University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio is the leading research institution in South Texas and one of the major health sciences universities in the world. With an operating budget of $674 million, the Health Science Center is the chief catalyst for the $15.3 billion biosciences and health care sector in San Antonio’s economy. The Health Science Center has had an estimated $35 billion impact on the region since inception and has expanded to six campuses in San Antonio, Laredo, Harlingen and Edinburg. More than 23,000 graduates (physicians, dentists, nurses, scientists and allied health professionals) serve in their fields, including many in Texas. Health Science Center faculty are international leaders in cancer, cardiovascular disease, diabetes, aging, stroke prevention, kidney disease, orthopaedics, research imaging, transplant surgery, psychiatry and clinical neurosciences, pain management, genetics, nursing, allied health, dentistry and many other fields. For more information, visit www.uthscsa.edu.

The Cancer Therapy & Research Center (CTRC) at The University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio is one of the nation’s leading academic research and treatment centers, serving more than 4.4 million people in the high-growth corridor of Central and South Texas including Austin, San Antonio, Laredo and the Rio Grande Valley. CTRC is one of a few elite cancer centers in the country to be named a National Cancer Institute (NCI) Designated Cancer Center, and is one of only three in Texas. CTRC handles more than 120,000 patient visits each year and is a world leader in developing new drugs to treat cancer. The CTRC Institute for Drug Development (IDD) is internationally recognized for conducting the largest oncology Phase I clinical drug trials program in the world, and participated in the clinical and/or preclinical development of many of the cancer drugs approved by the U.S. Food & Drug Administration. For more information, visit our Web site at www.ctrc.uthscsa.edu.



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