Skin cancer is the most common malignancy worldwide, and one in three new cancers diagnosed is a form of skin cancer, according to the Skin Cancer Foundation. This amounts to about 5 million non-melanoma skin cancers in the United States each year.
In response, a team of researchers at the University of Arizona Cancer Center is developing new strategies to prevent and reduce the risk of squamous cell carcinoma, the second most-common form of non-melanoma skin cancer.
To assist that effort, the UArizona Cancer Center recently was awarded a five-year, $6.9 million prestigious Program Project Grant from the National Cancer Institute (NCI), a unit of the National Institutes of Health (NIH).
Clara Curiel-Lewandrowski, MD, director of the Cutaneous Oncology Program and co-director of the Skin Cancer Institute at the UArizona Cancer Center, is principal investigator for the grant which will be funded by the NCI over the next five years.
This award is both an endorsement of the scientific contributions made by the Skin Cancer Institute research team and a true opportunity to make new groundbreaking advances in skin cancer prevention and treatment. This is a stamp of approval that says the University of Arizona Cancer Center is the place with quality and innovative approaches in skin cancer therapeutic prevention research nationwide." Dr. Clara Curiel-Lewandrowski, principal investigator
The Program Project Grant will assess, in animal models and human studies, the importance of a novel immune protein known as TLR4 that is modulated by solar ultraviolet radiation. The second focus of the grant includes characterization of a cascade of messages within skin cells recently discovered by the team that are found to promote development of skin cancer after exposure to sunlight. An impactful aspect of the award relates to the formulation and testing of topical drugs, i.e., lotions and creams, that effectively can inhibit the action of these proteins ultimately to prevent squamous cell carcinoma formation. Related Stories
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