URMC researcher to take part in $5.8M study

By WILL ASTOR - 10/31/2012 4:03:54 PM

A University of Rochester Medical Center researcher is named to lead a multi-institution study on the long-term effects of chemotherapy on cancer patients.

Researchers from eight U.S. and one Canadian cancer centers plan to undertake a $5.8 million, five-year study to pin down factors that might cause some patients to suffer ill effects from treatments used to cure or arrest their cancers.  Funded by a National Cancer Institute grant, the project is to be led by Lois Travis M.D., director of the James P. Wilmot Cancer Center’s Rubin Center for Cancer Survivorship.

The researchers plan to work with testicular cancer patients who were treated with cisplatin, a chemotherapy drug derived from platinum that is toxic to some but not all patients.  Cisplatin and other similar drugs are used to treat a range of cancers including cancers of the lung, colon, cervix, ovary, bladder, testis, stomach, head and neck, esophagus, and pancreas. Bad side effects can include hearing loss, nerve damage and kidney damage. Doctors now have no way of knowing which patients will suffer ill effects. 

Other institutions participating in the study are Dana Farber Cancer Institute, Mayo Clinic, MD Anderson, Memorial Sloan-Kettering, Pacific Northwest Consortium, University of Chicago, University of Indiana, University of Pennsylvania and Princess Margaret Hospital in Toronto.

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