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Investigating the role of SPARC in blood system cancers

  • Researcher: Professor Mario P Colombo
  • Institution: Fondazione IRCCS Istituto Nazionale dei Tumori
  • Award Amount: £205,136 for 3 years from June 2011
  • Cancer Type: Hodgkins Disease
Investigating the role of SPARC in blood system cancers
Dr Colombo has been studying a protein called SPARC which is normally only produced by cells as part of the process of growing and healing to repair a wound. It is part of the extra-cellular matrix - the glue between cells which holds them together. The bone marrow, where all new blood cells come from, normally has almost no SPARC protein. However, Dr Colombo has discovered that, in leukaemia and pre-leukaemia blood disorders, there are high levels of SPARC in the bone marrow. Along with other research findings, this suggests that SPARC may be involved in the cause of some types of blood system cancers. With his grant from Worldwide Cancer Research he will investigate the role of SPARC in the normal and leukaemic bone marrow.
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