Neuroblastoma sensitivity to chemotherapy

Neuroblastoma sensitivity to chemotherapy

Institute: St Vincent's Institute
Recipient: Dr Ora Bernard
Funding: $300,000 July 2009 to June 2013

The purpose of this project is to understand the role of specific proteins in drug resistance in childhood neuroblastoma.

Drug resistance is a very important problem in childhood cancers and it was shown that high levels of proteins from the LIM kinase (LIMK) family contribute to the resistance of neuroblastoma to anticancer drugs.
 
The LIMKs are important regulators of the actin cytoskeleton that plays an important role in many cellular processes such as cell division, cell motility and cancer cell invasion. Several drugs that block the activity of LIMKs have been developed, providing the Bernard team the opportunity to study their effect on neuroblastoma as well as other childhood cancers.
 
This research may lead to the use of LIMK inhibitors in the treatment of childhood cancer. However, more research is needed to establish the effect of these drugs on neuroblastoma and on mice models of brain tumours.