Three UF researchers awarded grants for cancer research

Published: June 19 2007

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GAINESVILLE, Fla. — The Ocala Royal Dames for Cancer Research Inc. has awarded $25,000 grants to three UF Shands Cancer Center researchers. Kevin Brown, Ph.D., Sergei Kusmartsev, Ph.D., and Zhen Su, M.D., will each receive funding for one year beginning July 1.

Brown, an associate professor in the University of Florida College of Medicine’s department of biochemistry and molecular biology, will research the effectiveness of postoperative radiation therapy on certain breast cancer tumors. He will investigate whether breast cancers that have silenced the ataxia telangiectasia protein respond better to external beam radiation therapy than those cancers that express the gene.

Kusmartsev, an assistant professor in the department of urology, will examine ways to target vascular endothelial growth factor, a growth-promoting protein secreted by kidney cancer cells, prior to immunotherapy.

Su, an assistant professor in the department of urology and department of pharmacology and therapeutics, will identify tumor-initiating stem cells in prostate cancers and design immunotherapy to target these cells, which resist chemotherapy and radiation.

All three researchers will present a summary of their projects at a UF Shands Cancer Center seminar in the fall.   


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