Eric Rellinger, M.D.

Funded by the Dick Vitale Pediatric Cancer Research Fund

Neuroblastoma is a childhood cancer that develops from nerves outside of the brain. Half of these cancers spread and cause high rates of death despite treatment. Many researchers study how proteins impact cancer growth and spread. Proteins work differently when sugars are attached to them. Sugars are added to proteins through a process called glycosylation, and the way that sugars are added is different in adult cancers. Few people have studied how glycosylation changes the behavior of childhood cancers. We have applied new technology to studying neuroblastomas and found that a certain sugar, fucose, is decreased in advanced tumors. We will extend our work and look at how sugars change when cancer cells are treated with chemotherapy. We found that decreased levels of fucose increases the ability of certain immune cells to find neuroblastoma cells. We have proposed studies to determine how proteins joined to fucose change how neuroblastomas are recognized by white blood cells. The proposed work will be the first use of this technology to define how cancers cells change their sugar patterns to avoid death when treated with chemotherapy.

Location: Markey Cancer Center - Lexington
Proposal: Aberrant Fucosylation Regulates Neuroblastoma Tumor-Associated Macrophage Recruitment and Polarization
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