Baylor receives $1.46 million grant for cancer research - KXXV-TV News Channel 25 - Central Texas News and Weather for Waco, Temple, Killeen |

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Baylor receives $1.46 million grant for cancer research

WACO - Baylor University officials announced on Thursday it has received a $1.46 million grant from the National Institutes of Health for Cancer Research.

The grant is awarded to two Baylor researchers who will be able to design, create and test several new potential new cancer fighting compounds that may disrupt solid-cancer tumors and target any remaining tumor cells that may grow after the tumor is treated.

Dr. Kevin G. Pinney, professor of chemistry and biochemistry in the Baylor College of Arts and Sciences and Dr. Mary Lynn Trawick, an associate professor of chemistry and biochemistry, will work in collaboration with University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center in Dallas.

"We are one of the few programs in the world working with these particular compounds and with the collaboration with UT Southwestern, I think this research project was very attractive to NIH," Pinney said. "This project will give us some deeper insight into these compounds that, in the future, might lead to clinical trials."

The research will be completed in three stages over the next five years.

In the first phase, Pinney and Trawick will test three compounds known as Vascular Disrupting Agents to see how tolerable they are in animal models and how well the compounds actually disrupt blood flow to the tumor.

The second phase will consist of designing, creating and testing a carefully selected small group of potential new cancer fighting compounds that may disrupt solid-cancer tumors.

The third phase will look into the cell mechanisms of each of the new compounds. The Baylor researchers said many questions remain unanswered, to date, in regard to how VDAs actually function on a molecular level in terms of cell signaling pathways.

"We will be comparing and studying the cells and proteins to see just how potent they are to cancer which could eventually lead to new drug discovery," Trawick said. "We are looking at selectivity – how do they disrupt cancer tumors and how well do they do it."

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