Reducing Cancer Therapy Side Effects
The DNA Damage and Host Response program at the UAMS Winthrop P. Rockefeller Cancer Institute studies DNA repair and genomic instability in cancer and normal tissues, as well as various biological mechanisms of and new interventions in adverse effects of cancer therapy.Learn More
Program Mission: The overarching mission of the DDHR program is to reduce cancer incidence and improve cancer treatment outcomes and quality of life of cancer survivors. Members conduct basic and translational research to elucidate the processes that disrupt genomic integrity to initiate and promote cancer, identify biomarkers of treatment response, and understand mechanisms by which cancer therapies adversely impact normal (non-cancer) tissues.
Specific Aim 1: Define the roles of DNA replication, recombination, and repair in the processes of mutagenesis, carcinogenesis, and response to therapy.
Specific Aim 2: Identify biological mechanisms by which surgery, ionizing radiation, chemotherapy and immunotherapy impact the host’s normal tissues, and develop novel strategies for the prevention and treatment of adverse effects of cancer therapy.
Specific Aim 3: Pursue novel technologies and biomarkers for the early identification of both tumor and normal tissue response to cancer therapy.
In particular, investigators are interested in genomic modifications involved in oncogenesis, resistance to therapy, and short- and long-term sequelae of radiation and chemotherapy. The long-term goal of the program is to improve cancer treatment outcomes as well as quality of life of cancer survivors.
Primary Areas of Research
Genomic Instability and Regulation
Identifying cancer relevant pathways involved in genomic instability and regulation
Therapeutic Resistance and Tumor Recurrence
Defining molecular pathways leading to therapeutic resistance and tumor recurrence.
Side Effects of Treatment
Development of strategies to minimize side effects of cancer treatment
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- Ewing LE, Skinner CM, Pathak R, Yee EU, Krager K, Gurley PC, Melnyk S, Boerma M, Hauer-Jensen M, Koturbash I. Dietary Methionine Supplementation Exacerbates Gastrointestinal Toxicity in a Mouse Model of Abdominal Irradiation. International journal of radiation oncology, biology, physics. 2020.
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Program Leader Marjan Boerma, Ph.D.
“Under the umbrella of host response falls any type of research that examines how normal or non-cancerous cells and tissues are affected by treatment, whether it be chemotherapy, radiation therapy, immune modulation or any other type of therapy,”View Bio