The Cancer Prevention and Research Institute of Texas (CPRIT) has awarded more than $6.1 million to Children’s Medical Center Research Institute at UT Southwestern (CRI) for cancer research and prevention.
Several CRI researchers including CRI’s Director, Dr. Sean Morrison, Dr. Ralph DeBerardinis and Dr. Prashant Mishra received $5,998,327 to study the regulation of metabolism in metastatic melanoma. Cancer that has metastasized, or spread beyond the site of its original appearance, is far more likely to be fatal, and this work is aimed at uncovering some of the conditions that lead to metastasis, with the ultimate aim of slowing or preventing metastasis.
This study extends prior work from the Morrison and DeBerardinis laboratories showing that anti-oxidants benefit cancer cells more than normal cells, and promote the survival of melanoma cells during metastasis. By better understanding the underlying mechanisms, the team hopes to develop pro-oxidant therapies that would block metastasis.
Another $200,000 was awarded to Dr. Jian Xu to develop new experimental and computational tools to study acute myeloid leukemia. The study will search for structural variations in the human genome, such as insertions or deletions in DNA. These results will help translate findings from cancer genetic studies to mechanism-based therapies for blood cancers.