CONTACT: BECKY SOGLIN
Iowa City IA 52242
(319) 335-6660; fax (319) 335-8034
Release: Jan. 17, 2001
UI researchers receive grants to study cancer tumors
IOWA CITY, Iowa -- University of Iowa Health Care researchers have received
two grants, one from the National Cancer Institute and one from the American
Cancer Society, to investigate cancer tumors.
M. Sue O'Dorisio, M.D., Ph.D., UI Foundation Professor of Pediatrics and
director of the UI Division of Pediatric Hematology/Oncology, and Thomas M.
O'Dorisio, M.D., UI professor of internal medicine, have received a four-year,
$2 million National Cancer Institute grant to study "Radioreceptor Guided
Surgery Therapy of Neural Crest Tumors." Thomas O'Dorisio also is a researcher
at the Veterans Affairs Medical Center in Iowa City. Other UI investigators
who will also be part of the research team include Anthony Sandler, M.D.,
and James Howe, M.D., both UI assistant professors of surgery, and Malik Juweid,
M.D., and David Bushnell, M.D., both UI associate professors of radiology.
The investigation will focus on how somatostatin receptors can be used as
diagnostic and therapeutic targets in detecting and removing tumors during
surgeries. The researchers will initially study the use of this technique
in neuroblastoma and carcinoid tumors. If the method proves successful, it
may also be used in detecting and treating certain kinds of lung cancer, certain
breast cancers and melanoma.
Sue O'Dorisio, who recently opened a UI Health Care clinic for children
with nervous system disorders, also received a one-year, $75,000 grant from
the American Cancer Society to study "Genetic and Epigenetic Changes
Medulloblastoma is a type of brain cancer that accounts for nearly 25 percent
of all childhood brain cancers, according to the American Cancer Society.
These fast-growing tumors originate in the cerebellum and can spread to other
parts of the body.
The study goal is to understand the role of methylation in development of
these brain tumors which are unique to children. Previous genetic research
has shown that mutations and deletions of tumor suppressor genes contribute
to malignancy. However, DNA methylation -- the addition of single carbon atoms
to genetic material -- can inactivate tumor gene expression.
University of Iowa Health Care describes the partnership between
the UI College of Medicine and the UI Hospitals and Clinics and the patient
care, medical education and research programs and services they provide.