Claudia Benavente, assistant professor of pharmaceutical sciences and developmental & cell biology, has been awarded a grant from the National Cancer Institute t
o develop a novel therapeutic intervention for the treatment of the childhood cancer, osteosarcoma.
Benavente’s research aims to explain the role of the chromatin remodeling protein UHRF1 as a potential therapeutic target for the treatment of osteosarcoma, a childhood cancer of the bone. “Our data shows that targeting UHRF1 overexpression dramatically increases survival in mice bearing osteosarcoma tumors and reduces the rate and number of metastases, which is the main cause of death in patients with this disease,” Benavente said. “This project aims to further understand this process in order to help design new ways to treat this childhood cancer of the bone.” Osteosarcoma is the eighth most common form of childhood cancer and has a survival rate of just over 50 percent.