UC San Diego researcher receives $6.25 million grant

October 14, 2013

The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society has awarded Thomas J. Kipps, MD, PhD, Distinguished Professor of Medicine at the University of California, San Diego School of Medicine, with a 5-year, $6.25 million Specialized Center of Research program grant to support research on chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL), the most common adult leukemia in the United States.

Kipps, the Evelyn and Edwin Tasch Chair in Cancer Research and UC San Diego Moores Cancer Center deputy director for research, is a recipient of The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society's grant for the "Specific Targets for Therapy of Patients with Chronic Lymphocytic Leukemia," a four-part project. After nearly three decades of investigating and treating CLL, Kipps is considered among the nation's leading experts in the disease. According to the National Cancer Institute, 1 in 192 people will be diagnosed with CLL during their lifetime.

"Although the research proposal is directed toward improving therapy for patients with CLL, the research may impact other leukemias, lymphomas and cancers in general," said Kipps. "The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society's Specialized Center of Research grant plays an important part in moving this research forward."

CLL is a cancer of the blood and bone marrow, characterized by the growth of abnormal white blood cells that ultimately crowd out healthy cells. Treating this slow-growing cancer is challenging because malignant cells are resistant to drugs used to treat other leukemias. Past research has been unable to uncover a common mutation; instead, alterations in CLL occur through different survival pathways.

Kipps and colleagues reported that a protein used by embryo cells during early development, called Receptor-tyrosine-kinase-like Orphan Receptor 1 or ROR1, serves as a switch regulating the spread of cancer, known as metastasis.

The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society grant will permit Kipps to advance the development of potential new therapies that would target identified pathways that support leukemia-cell survival such as ROR1 (Project 1). Because the activation or silencing of one pathway could lead to the expression of another, William Wierda, MD, PhD, of the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, will take the findings and implement a phase I clinical trial (Project 2).

Dennis Carson, MD, UC San Diego emeritus professor of medicine, will investigate the suppression of Wnt-signaling, which can stimulate leukemia-cell growth, and the ability to sensitize these cells to agents currently in clinical trials at UC San Diego (Project 3). And Michael Karin, PhD, UC San Diego School of Medicine, Distinguished Professor of Pharmacology and Pathology, will examine the regulation of signaling and regulatory molecules IKKbeta, NF-KappaB, JAK2 and STAT3 in CLL cells (Project 4).
The project is funded by grant award number 7005-14 from the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society.

University of California - San Diego

Related Cancer Articles from Brightsurf:

New blood cancer treatment works by selectively interfering with cancer cell signalling
University of Alberta scientists have identified the mechanism of action behind a new type of precision cancer drug for blood cancers that is set for human trials, according to research published in Nature Communications.

UCI researchers uncover cancer cell vulnerabilities; may lead to better cancer therapies
A new University of California, Irvine-led study reveals a protein responsible for genetic changes resulting in a variety of cancers, may also be the key to more effective, targeted cancer therapy.

Breast cancer treatment costs highest among young women with metastic cancer
In a fight for their lives, young women, age 18-44, spend double the amount of older women to survive metastatic breast cancer, according to a large statewide study by the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Cancer mortality continues steady decline, driven by progress against lung cancer
The cancer death rate declined by 29% from 1991 to 2017, including a 2.2% drop from 2016 to 2017, the largest single-year drop in cancer mortality ever reported.

Stress in cervical cancer patients associated with higher risk of cancer-specific mortality
Psychological stress was associated with a higher risk of cancer-specific mortality in women diagnosed with cervical cancer.

Cancer-sniffing dogs 97% accurate in identifying lung cancer, according to study in JAOA
The next step will be to further fractionate the samples based on chemical and physical properties, presenting them back to the dogs until the specific biomarkers for each cancer are identified.

Moffitt Cancer Center researchers identify one way T cell function may fail in cancer
Moffitt Cancer Center researchers have discovered a mechanism by which one type of immune cell, CD8+ T cells, can become dysfunctional, impeding its ability to seek and kill cancer cells.

More cancer survivors, fewer cancer specialists point to challenge in meeting care needs
An aging population, a growing number of cancer survivors, and a projected shortage of cancer care providers will result in a challenge in delivering the care for cancer survivors in the United States if systemic changes are not made.

New cancer vaccine platform a potential tool for efficacious targeted cancer therapy
Researchers at the University of Helsinki have discovered a solution in the form of a cancer vaccine platform for improving the efficacy of oncolytic viruses used in cancer treatment.

American Cancer Society outlines blueprint for cancer control in the 21st century
The American Cancer Society is outlining its vision for cancer control in the decades ahead in a series of articles that forms the basis of a national cancer control plan.

Read More: Cancer News and Cancer Current Events
Brightsurf.com is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com.