West Virginia University has been awarded 11.2 million dollars to establish a center that focuses on what might make a tumor more likely to grow.
The National Institutes of Medicine awarded WVU a five-year grant to study microenvironments surrounding tumors. The idea is that just as a plant is likely to grow in a sunny garden, a benign tumor may be more likely to grow or become cancerous if its surroundings are primed for growth.
Researches from the Schools of Pharmacy and Medicine and the Cancer Institute will work together to investigate how tumors interact with the bodies that house them and the treatments that attack them.
The team plans to develop new ways to diagnose tumors, identify better ways to prevent and treat cervical cancer, explore what makes some brain cancers so tenacious, and improve treatments for leukemia and other blood cancers.
The new center will give researchers access to tumor samples removed from patients and cutting-edge imaging equipment so researchers can better look at individual cancer cells.
Appalachia Health News is a project of West Virginia Public Broadcasting, with support from the Marshall Health, Charleston Area Medical Center and WVU Medicine.