Penn: In a Childhood Cancer, Basic Biology Offers Clues to Better Treatments

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Media Contact:Karen Kreeger | karen.kreeger@uphs.upenn.edu | 215-349-5658November 14, 2011

PHILADELPHIA - By studying tumor biology at the molecular level, researchers are gaining a deeper understanding of drug resistance - and how to avoid it by designing pediatric cancer treatments tailored to specific mutations in a child’s DNA. In a fruitful collaboration, pediatric oncologists and biochemists are targeting neuroblastoma, an often-deadly childhood cancer of the peripheral nervous system.

"This has been a terrific collaboration," said study co-leader Mark A. Lemmon, Ph.D., professor and chair of Biochemistry and Biophysics at the Perelman School of Medicine of the University of Pennsylvania. "We have been working for a long time to understand how growth factor receptors work as signaling 'machines.'"

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