Rutgers Cancer Institute of New Jersey just received a five-year, $1.8 million grant from the National Cancer institute to research the impact of chronic stress on cancer development.
The grant is very specifically aimed at the most frequently mutated gene in human tumors, known as p53, and researchers will look at ways to disrupt stress effects on the cancer development, according to a statement from Rutgers.
“Mutated p53 proteins often accumulate to high levels in tumors, leading to increased activities that can increase tumor development. Preliminary data by our team suggest that chronic stress promotes this accumulation. Through our work, we aim to learn more about how mutated p53 proteins are stabilized in tumors in order to block the accumulation of mutated p53 in these tumors,” said Dr. Wenwei Hu, who is part of Rutgers Cancer Institute’s Genome Instability and Cancer Genetics Research Program.
“With more than 50 percent of all human tumors harboring p53 mutations, it is critical to identify the underlying molecular mechanism of this protein at the mutant form,” Hu said. “In identifying molecular targets that impact stress signaling, there is an opportunity to develop novel therapies to treat those with mutated p53 cancers.”