Summer is just around the corner, and for many this means more time to spend on outdoor activities. This last Sunday saw an excellent incentive to start the summer biking with the Ride Cincinnati event, an effort to raise money for breast cancer studies while encouraging the public to be active. This annual event awards grants to select cancer researchers in the area; this year five researchers from the University of Cincinnati won a combined $200,000 in grants for their outstanding research.
Each of the five recipients of the Ride Cincinnati grants is working on a unique aspect of the problem that is breast cancer. For instance, Susan Waltz, professor of cancer biology, is looking into new biomarkers to detect breast cancer earlier and more efficiently. She believes her team has located such a biomarker in the form of Hepatocyte growth factor like protein (HGFL). This protein is overproduced in over 50 percent of breast cancer cases, and abnormally high levels begin to show before other symptoms. This makes it an ideal biomarker since HGFL levels can be easily tested.
Another study led by Timothy David Struve sought to determine radiosensitivity in breast cancer patients. Radiotherapy can be a very effective weapon against cancer, but it is not often the first choice because some patients don’t react to it very well. Struve isolated a dopamine receptor (D1R) that serves as an indicator not to use radiotherapy: if the receptor is overexpressed, the tumor is more likely resistant to radiotherapy and so proceeding would probably do more harm than good to the patient. This can help rule out radiotherapy as a treatment option for unsuitable patients and save them much discomfort.
A third study focuses on tumor recurrence. Sometimes when a tumor is thought to be eliminated, it actually leaves behind breast cancer stem cells which later recreate the tumor. Professor Lisa Privette-Vinnedge searched for a way to prevent this behavior and found her answer in the DEK oncogene. Inhibiting the expression of this oncogene prevents the tumors from leaving stem cells behind, ensuring that treatment is successful the first time around. Privette-Vinnedge also believes that inhibiting DEK limits tumor growth in the first place and is currently furthering her research to test this hypothesis.
The bioresearchers mentioned here each won a $40,000 grant for their work from the Ride Cincinnati event, and the university received a total of $285,000 in grants. If funding information for the research at UC interests you, consider reading our free University of Cincinnati Funding Stats and Vendor Show Info report, accessible here:
If you are a research scientist or lab supplier interested in networking with others in your field at University of Cincinnati, Biotechnology Calendar, Inc. invites you to attend our annual Cincinnati Bioresearch Product Faire™, held this year on August 6, 2014 on the UC campus. Biotechnology Calendar, Inc. is a full-service science research marketing and events-planning company that hosts events at top research institutions nationwide. If you are interested in attending this show, please click the button below. Otherwise, we encourage you to check out our 2014 schedule for a more complete geographical selection.