V Scholar Plus Award- extended funding for exceptional V Scholars
Kidney cancer is the 8th most common cancer in the USA. Clear cell renal cell carcinoma (ccRCC) is the most common and lethal type of kidney cancer. If ccRCC spreads from the kidney, it becomes incredibly deadly. In addition, the drugs that successfully treat other cancers have no effect on the tumors. The most common gene mutation in ccRCC was discovered over 20 years ago. Figuring out the function of this gene led to the first drugs that successfully treat ccRCC. While this has improved the outcome for ccRCC patients, they still only survive an average of 22 months. Additionally, some patients do not respond to these drugs at all. We need to better understand what makes ccRCC different than other cancers. In addition, we need to understand what makes some ccRCC patients different than other ccRCC patients. Our lab studies a protein called Polybromo-1, which is the second most commonly mutated gene in ccRCC. Our goal is to understand how ccRCC patients with mutations in this gene are unique. From this information, we will figure out how to treat this set of patients using new drugs.