Targeting kinases to reverse multidrug resistance in human sarcoma

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Zhenfeng Duan, M.D., Ph.D.,  Massachusetts General Hospital
Recipient of the: $25,000 research award, ARIAD and Merck Research Award

Protein kinases play an important role in the pathogenesis of cancer.  Furthermore, kinases can be targeted by pharmaceutical agents to decrease tumor growth (i.e. EGFR, Her2, c-kit).  This project examines the role of specific kinases as sarcoma cancer cells develop resistance to chemotherapeutic agents.  We aim to: 1) determine the role of kinases in supporting chemoresistance to doxorubicin and methotrexate in sarcoma cell lines; and 2) determine the effectiveness of inhibiting kinases to reverse drug resistance in a sarcoma xenograft mouse model.  We hope to identify the most suitable kinases for future development as new drugs for patients with sarcoma.