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"New strategies and agents to tackle tumor heterogeneity"
Principal Investigator: Dr. Chia-Hsin Chan
Institution: Stony Brook University
Modern oncology has begun to be alert to the heterogeneous nature of human
tumors on both phenotypic and genetic level. In view the fact that diverse
clones existing in tumors result in discordant drug responses and consequent
tumor recurrence and metastasis, we need to identify molecular determinants of
tumor heterogeneity to develop more effective cancer therapies. Cancer stem
cells (CSCs) are regarded as a primary mechanism accounting for tumor
heterogeneity. CSCs harbor self-renewal capacity and pluripotent differentiation
property, and thus are capable of initiating growth and progression of
heterogeneous tumor despite of their rareness in tumors. Discoveries on
bi-directional reprograming of cancer cells (interchangeable differentiated and
induced stem-like status) has revolutionized not only the prospect of targeting
stem-like cancer cells for therapeutic purposes. My proposal is to delineate the
mechanism underlying this dynamic process. Our preliminary data has already
shown a new layer of regulatory control of CSCs, termed K63 ubiquitination. We
will determine whether and how this new regulation orchestrates CSC expansion
and tumor heterogeneity and develop effective CSC-targeted therapies.
The above project description is supplied by the Principal Investigator