Foundation increases grant for liver cancer research

The Clayton Foundation for Research is supporting UT Health San Antonio in the development of a biorepository and new strategies for treating hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC), which is the most common liver cancer in adults. The gift originally provided $300,000 in research support each year for five years, but the foundation recently increased the grant to $500,000 for the next fiscal year.

The foundation usually does not “increase funding to this amount within three years of a project,  but the trustees are exceedingly proud of our progress, and because of the potential impact our research can have on Hispanics from South Texas,” Francisco G. Cigarroa, M.D., professor of surgery, wrote in a note to colleagues.

The research team is interested in learning why the morbidity and mortality of HCC is higher in Hispanics in South Texas than in Hispanics from elsewhere in Texas and the U.S., as well as in other ethnic groups.

Dr. Cigarroa directs the research project with LuZhe Sun, Ph.D., professor in the Department of Cellular and Structural Biology.

“The mortality of this tumor is extremely high,” Dr. Cigarroa said, adding that researchers are already interpreting project data from DNA and RNA sequencing.

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