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Investigating the growth of lymphomas

  • Researcher: Dr Jörg Heierhorst
  • Institution: St Vincents Institute of Medical Research, Fitzroy, Victoria, Australia
  • Award Amount: £229,808 for 3 years from 1st January
  • Cancer Type: lymphoma
Investigating the growth of lymphomas
Dr Jörg Heierhorst is investigating how lymphomas begin. B cells are a type of white blood cell that forms part of your immune system. Uncontrolled growth of B cells causes one of the most common forms of cancer in humans, B cell lymphoma.

Dr Heierhorst explains “We found that when we remove a gene called ASCIZ from lymphoma-prone mice the onset of cancer is dramatically reduced. Now we want to test if we can similarly extend the survival of these mice by removing the ASCIZ gene after the cancer has formed.”

He continued “We know that ASCIZ functions by regulating another gene called DYNLL1. So we will also test if loss of DYNLL1 protects mice from developing B cell lymphoma, or if they live longer when DYNLL1 is inactivated after a lymphoma is already established. If successful, this would indicate that ASCIZ could be a promising target for the development of new drugs to treat B cell cancers in the future.”

Dr. Heierhorst added: "We are very honored and grateful for being awarded this Worldwide Cancer Research grant. This funding will enable us to speed up our efforts to find ways to target ASCIZ and DYNLL1 for future clinical uses."
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