Three Boston scientists are among 13 nationally receiving grants for innovative cancer research that are designed to get new treatments to patients faster, a private fund-raising group announced today.
The researchers will each receive up to $750,000 over three years for their work, according to Stand Up to Cancer, a consortium of film and media industry leaders who have staged two global television fund-raisers to support cancer research.
The Boston recipients include scientists from Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, Joslin Diabetes Center, and Massachusetts General Hospital.
Dr. Catherine J. Wu, of Dana-Farber, will study the genetic drivers of chronic lymphocytic leukemia. That information could unlock important clues about why the disease progresses differently in patients and why some tumors are able to evade chemotherapy.
Dr. Sridhar Ramaswamy, of Mass. General, will examine cancer cells with the unusual ability to go to sleep, before eventually awakening. When asleep, the cells resist virtually all treatment. Studying them had proved daunting -- until a recent discovery by Ramaswamy opened a window onto ways to better understand the cells. With his grant, he will look for ways to kill sleeping cancer cells.
Amy J. Wagers, of Joslin, will investigate a class of cancers known as sarcomas that attack bone, fat, and cartilage. Children and young adults disproportionately bear the burden of sarcomas, and current treatments are often ineffective. Wagers' lab developed a novel mouse model to study sarcomas, and she plans to use her grant to explore drugs that can target the genetic roots of the disease.
The 13 scientists are splitting $9.7 million in grants, which were announced at the annual meeting of the American Association for Cancer Research.
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