Division of Hematology and Oncology News & Job Opportunities
Gerhard Bauer, Richard Pollard, Joe Anderson, Xiao-Dong Li and Mehrdad Abedi
The state stem cell agency, the California Institute for Regenerative Medicine (CIRM), approved funding a UC Davis Health System research team to conduct a clinical trial using bioengineered stem cells to treat HIV patients suffering from lymphoma, one of the deadly conditions associated with the disease.The $8.5 million grant will be used to test gene-modified hematopoietic (or blood-forming) stem cells in patients and then monitor and analyze their effectiveness on the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV).
Moon S. Chen, PhD, MPH is a co-founder of the National Task Force with Dr. Gary Euler of CDC and a nationally renowned expert in cancer health disparities, particularly as they affect Asian-American populations. When Dr. Chen was professionally challenged with the task to “eliminate health disparities”, he could think of only one example where health disparities have ever been eliminated... and that was the historical example of smallpox eradication. Today because of smallpox eradication, there are no disparities between any people groups as smallpox has been eliminated from the face of the globe. At the 2008 NIH Conference on the Science of Health Disparities, he proposed that hepatitis B viral infections offers the world’s next best candidate for elimination…and that HBV could be eliminated through the same approach as smallpox. This would be through “case finding”, i.e., screening to identify any “positives” and referring them to appropriate treatment and for those who lack natural immunity, to vaccination. Concurrently, completing the birth-dose of HBV and the continuation of HBV vaccinations for youth could spare future generations from HBV. This vision drives his passion for the Task Force’s work and the potential for seeing a world free of HBV-linked infections. Currently he is UC Davis Comprehensive Cancer Center’s Associate Director for Cancer Control and Professor in the Division of Hematology and Oncology at UC Davis, continuing to be engaged in HBV control and also leads a portfolio of research that addresses determinants of cancer risk and their mitigation in human populations.
New SU2C-American Cancer Society Lung Cancer Dream Team Announced
Dr. Chong-Xian Pan receives new $2.4 Millon RO1 grant to extend his work to develop nanoparticles which target and eradicate leukemia stem cells. The goal of this project is to develop nanotherapeutics that can specifically deliver the chemotherapeutic drug daunorubicin into acute myeloid leukemia (AML) stem cells (targeted delivery) and relase the drug inside the cells (timed release) in order to eradicate this cell population. Leukemia stem cells (LSC) are relatively resistant to the conventional chemotherapy and can subsequently produce more leukemia cells to cause disease recurrence. In order to cure leukemia, LSC must be eradicated, and this therapy decreases therapy-induced toxicity and mortality owing to the sequestration of the drug inside the micelles.