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Flicking the right switches to prevent cancer progression

  • Researcher: Dr Cameron Bracken
  • Institution: University of South Australia, Adelaide, Australia
  • Award Amount: £222,465 for 3 years from 1st January 2019
  • Cancer Type: General Cancer Research
Flicking the right switches to prevent cancer progression
One of the main issues facing cancer treatment is the patient’s development of resistance to drugs over time. To overcome this, many treatment regimens for cancer involve a combination of therapies and drugs.

Dr Cameron Bracken based at the University of South Australia, Adelaide, Australia is taking the first steps towards developing an entirely new combination therapy that aims to hold back progression of cancer. His teams focus is on small pieces of DNA-like material called micro-RNAs, which play an important role in switching off genes. The advantage of using these microRNAs is that they can each control many genes, which they hypothesise may make them a more potent block to cancer, and may make it less likely that cancers develop a resistance to therapy over time. They want to identify a combination of micro-RNAs that act in concert to stop the growth and spread of cancer, then use this as a therapeutic tool, delivering the micro-RNAs into cancer cells to prevent disease progression.

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