My projects involve investigation of novel combinations of therapeutics to enhance treatment of pediatric and pancreatic cancers as well as brain tumors. In addition to testing these combinations in pediatric, pancreatic and glioblastoma cancer cell lines, my laboratory has been focused on using three-dimensional culture systems to more properly mimic the tumor and its environment. I am also using NOD/SCID mouse models to compare efficacy in vivo with the 3D systems. Included in these experiments are drugs commonly used to treat pancreatic cancer such as gemcitabine in combination with inhibition of important cell growth pathways such as NFkB, HIF1-a, and AP-1. In addition, we have an inhibitor of the DNA repair activity of AP endonuclease, an important protein in the Base Excision Repair pathway to test the hypothesis that pediatric, pancreatic and/or glioblastoma cancer cells are rendered more sensitive when compromised in their DNA repair activity.
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