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University of Iowa News

Sept. 12, 2005

Photos: (left to right) Natalie Denburg, Frederick Domann, Al Klingelhutz, and David Lubaroff

UI Cancer And Aging Program Funds Pilot Projects

The University of Iowa Cancer and Aging Program (CAP) has awarded a total of $160,175 in one-year grants to support four pilot research projects on cancer in the elderly. The CAP Research Development Funding Initiative awards were effective Sept. 1.

CAP is a joint initiative of the UI Center on Aging and the Holden Comprehensive Cancer Center at the UI. The awards, which emphasize translational and clinical research, were made to four principal investigators in the UI Roy J. and Lucille A. Carver College of Medicine.

Natalie Denburg, Ph.D., assistant professor of neurology, will investigate the effects of chemotherapy on decision-making in older patients with colon cancer.

Frederick Domann, Ph.D., associate professor of radiation oncology, will study factors regulating expression of a gene associated with Alzheimer's disease to provide insight into age-related dementia and squamous cell cancers of the skin and the head and neck region.

Al Klingelhutz, Ph.D., assistant professor of microbiology, will examine the role of telomere shortening in aging and cancer. Telomeres are long stretches of non-coding DNA at the ends of chromosomes and ensure normal replication and stability. Telomeres gradually shorten as cells divide, and this is believed to lead to aging and unstable chromosomes, which are ultimately associated with the development of cancer.

David Lubaroff, Ph.D., professor of urology and a researcher with the Veterans Affairs Iowa City Health Care System, will lead a Phase II study of an adenovirus vaccine for prostate cancer to understand how age may affect immune response.

UI studies previously funded by CAP include research on colorectal cancer screening, the effect of pre-existing dementia on treating non-Hodgkin's lymphoma in older patients and the effectiveness of aggressive treatments for early stage prostate cancer.

CAP is funded overall by a grant from the National Institutes of Health; the principal investigator is Robert Wallace, M.D., professor of epidemiology in the UI College of Public Health and director of the UI Center on Aging.

The Cancer and Aging Program also is expanding shared research resources on campus by supporting the development of two specialized core resources integral to cancer and aging research: the Analytical Pharmacology Laboratory Core and the Population-Based Cancer Treatment and Outcome Databases Core. For further information about the CAP, the Research Development Funding Initiative or the core resources, visit www.cancerandaging.uiowa.edu.

The UI Center on Aging fosters and supports interdisciplinary research, education and service throughout the campus and state to improve understanding of the aging process and the health and well-being of older people. For more information, visit www.centeronaging.uiowa.edu.

The Holden Comprehensive Cancer Center is Iowa's only National Cancer Institute (NCI)-designated comprehensive cancer center. NCI-designated comprehensive cancer centers are recognized as the leaders in developing new approaches to cancer prevention and cancer care, conducting leading edge research and educating the public about cancer. Visit the center online at www.uihealthcare.com/cancer.

STORY SOURCE: University of Iowa Health Science Relations, 5137 Westlawn, Iowa City, Iowa 52242-1178

CONTACTS: Media: Becky Soglin, 319-335-6660, becky-soglin@uiowa.edu; Program: Victoria Struzynski Olson, program coordinator, Cancer and Aging Program, 319-384-4566, cancer-and-aging@uiowa.edu

PHOTOS:

Natalie Denburg: available on request

Frederick Domann: http://www.uihealthcare.com/depts/med/radiationoncology/frrb/faculty/domann.html

Al Klingelhutz: http://www.medicine.uiowa.edu/microbiology/faculty/klingelhutz.htm

David Lubaroff: http://www.uihealthcare.com/depts/med/urology/urologymds/lubaroff.html