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Scientist to investigate potential new targets to inhibit cancer growth

Aug. 1, 2014

The Medical College of Wisconsin (MCW) has received a two-year, $153,000 grant from the National Institute of Health’s National Cancer Institute to evaluate a potential new pathway for inhibiting the growth of cancer cells. This new pathway could lead to new diagnostic and therapeutic tools in treating malignancies.

Andrey Sorokin, Ph.D., professor of medicine in the division of nephrology at MCW, is the primary investigator of the grant.

COX-2 is an enzyme that plays a critical role in the development and spread of cancers. Currently, COX-2 inhibitors are utilized as treatments in prostate cancers and some other types of cancers. However, Dr. Sorokin’s research indicates there may be a more effective target to turn “off” the switch that allows the cancer cells to continue to grow.

In this project, Dr. Sorokin and his team will evaluate COX-2 regulation by a type of enzymes called kinases that modifies proteins by adding a phosphate group. A specific kinase called Fyn has been linked to cancer progression and will be evaluated as a novel regulator of COX-2. The project will enhance our understanding of the signaling mechanisms at a cellular level that cause cancer progression, and could provide new diagnostic tools and offer novel therapeutic targets to treat prostate cancer.

This project is supported by NIH grant R03CA182114-01A1.

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