Navin Pinto, MD - 2011 Young Investigator Award
“Population-specific Genetic Variants Important in Susceptibility to Cyclophosphamide in Pediatric Patients”
Awarded a $75,000 Young Investigator Award
Neuroblastoma is a deadly pediatric cancer. We believe that some patients do not survive because of genetic differences, and that those patients that do not respond to treatment protocols will be found to have genetic variants that confer resistance to chemotherapy. My work, under the supervision of M. Eileen Dolan, PhD, aims to find the genetic factors that may explain resistance to chemotherapy. Our lab gives chemotherapy to white blood cells from healthy volunteers from all over the world. The entire DNA code, or genome, for each of these cells is known. By comparing how sensitive or resistant these cells are to chemotherapy against their genetic code, we can find genetic changes that are associated with chemotherapy resistance. We hope to find genetic variables associated with resistance to cyclophosphamide, one of the backbones of neuroblastoma treatment, and see if these variables are the explanation for differences in outcome. These results will help us to personalize therapy for these patients and eventually improve cure rates of this devastating disease.
"Thanks to the hard work, commitment, and compassion of scientists, researchers, and organizations like the Cancer Research Foundation, there is renewed hope for discovering better treatments and eventually a cure for cancer.
I commend all of you for your outstanding contributions to the field of cancer research. For five decades, your commitment to the crusade against cancer has given hope and comfort to people across the nation."
Former President of the United States
May 05, 1997