News

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Breast Cancer Seed Grants Awarded

Researchers studying breast cancer treatment and survivorship have been awarded Research Seed Grants by the Stephenson Cancer Center. Two competitive grants, which total $125,000, were funded by a private gift from MidFirst Bank from funds generated from the bank’s breast cancer awareness “Pink VISA® Debit Card.”

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In an effort to further advance efforts to address disproportionately high rates of cancer in Oklahoma’s rural and minority populations, the Stephenson Cancer Center has added a leading health disparities researcher to its team. Mark P. Doescher, MD, MSPH, will head the Cancer Health Disparities Research Program at the Cancer Center. As program leader, Doescher will coordinate a large and diverse team of investigators focused on cancer prevention and control. The program specifically aims to develop new strategies to improve quality of life, quality of care and access to care for rural and minority patients, with a special emphasis on initiatives to address health disparities among Oklahoma’s American Indian communities.

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A $10 million grant from the National Institutes of Health will enable researchers at the Stephenson Cancer Center at the University of Oklahoma to look for answers to a critical problem in cancer therapy – why some cancer cells become resistant to chemo and radiation therapy, and what can be done to overcome that resistance.

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The Stephenson Cancer Center is pleased to announce that Dorothy A. Rhoades, MD, MPH has joined them as Director of American Indian Cancer Research Initiatives. In her administrative role Rhoades will work with cancer center researchers and leadership to explore outreach strategies and research opportunities in collaboration with Oklahoma tribal communities.

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There may be new hope for patients with advanced lung cancer. It comes in the form of a new tumor-suppressing treatment delivered by way of special nanoparticles. Dr. Rajagopal Ramesh, an Oklahoma TSET Cancer Research Scholar with the Stephenson Cancer Center, was a lead investigator in a Phase I clinical trial that evaluated a novel technique for treating patients with very advanced lung cancer. Patients enrolled in the trial had already exhausted other forms of cancer treatment and had experienced no improvement, despite such aggressive therapies.

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