May is National Cancer Research Month
In honor of National Cancer Research Month, we’d like to spotlight the ongoing efforts of Dr. Jacqueline Kraveka and the outstanding members of her research team including Dr. Mehrdad Rahmaniyan and Dr. Li Li. Dr. Kraveka’s research laboratory, housed in the Darby Children’s Research Institute, is the only laboratory in the state of South Carolina dedicated to translational pediatric cancer research. Their work focuses mainly on neuroblastoma and identifying and developing new treatments for this deadly disease.
The goal of their research is to develop new treatments for children that will be more effective and have fewer side effects. One such treatment being researched is sphingolipid-based therapeutics. Sphingolipids make up cell membranes and play an important role in cancer cell growth. Targeting sphingolipid metabolism has been shown to be a novel and effective method of cancer cell destruction. Sphingolipid-targeted therapies have great potential for pediatric cancer therapy because they:
- Can be combined with existing chemotherapeutic agents to improve clinical outcomes.
- Can help overcome drug resistance.
- Can enhance responses to radiation therapy.
- Can inhibit tumor metastases, migration, invasion, and angiogenesis.
- Can have fewer side effects than conventional therapies.
We thank Doctors Kraveka, Li Li, and Rahmaniyan and others for their unwavering quest to find more effective childhood cancer treatments through their dedicated research efforts.