UA pediatric oncologists receive large grant - Tucson News Now

UA pediatric oncologists receive large grant

UA pediatric oncologists receive large grant. (Source: Tucson News Now) UA pediatric oncologists receive large grant. (Source: Tucson News Now)
TUCSON, AZ (Tucson News Now) -

Two University of Arizona oncologists will advance their pediatric cancer research thanks to a new $400,000 grant.

Hyundai's "Hope on Wheels" charity presented the check to Dr. Emmanuel Katsanis and Dr. Yi Zeng at the Banner Children's - Diamond Children's Medical Center on Wednesday, Sept. 2.

Both pediatric oncologists are currently conducting their research at the UA Steele Children's Research Center.

"We only can beat cancer through research. If we do research, then we will be able to discover a mechanism how we're going to really knock down this disease," said Steele Children's Research Center Director Dr. Fayez Ghishan.

Bryce Taylor, 16, has been cured of a rare form of leukemia after a bone marrow transplant.

The Marana High School junior shared his story of his fight against the disease during Wednesday's ceremony.

"The chemotherapy treatments alone made me very sick and I don't know what the long-term effects would be on my body. All I know is I don't want anyone else to go through the same experience as I did," Taylor said.

Katsanis' research will look into post-bone marrow transplant drug treatments that aim to reduce relapses.

"We have a way that we have shown in mice so far with the drugs that we use after transplantation, we can reduce the relapse and the mice survived from their leukemia," Katsanis said.

Zeng's research will study new treatment strategies in suppressing complications that may arise following a bone marrow transplant.

"So our long term goal is to improve the outcome of pediatric patients requiring bone marrow transplants," Zeng said.

September is Childhood Cancer Awareness Month.

The Steele Children's Research Center is Arizona's only academic pediatric research center designated by the Arizona Board of Regents.

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