Grants - V Scholar Grants - Connecticut - 2018

Claudio Alarcon, Ph.D.

Funded by the Stuart Scott Memorial Cancer Research Fund

Pancreatic cancer is a deadly disease. Most patients with pancreatic cancer are diagnosed at late stages. There are no impactful treatments for this disease. Patients with advanced disease only survive for a few months. There is a need for novel approaches for novel therapies. We need to understand the biology that allows cancer cells to create new tumors and invade other tissues. We propose to study the role of a new RNA modification. These changes on RNA control many aspects of the cells. Recently, the proteins that modify the RNA have been involved in several cancer types. However, the way that they act in cancer cells is unknown. We propose that the RNA changes are used by cancer cells to increase their ability to grow and invade new tissues. Thus, we propose to use multiple approaches to test the role of this RNA modification in pancreatic cancer initiation and progression. Understanding the basic mechanisms involved in the abnormal use of this RNA changes could lead to the development of novel therapies to treat cancer and metastatic diseases.

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