Triad Golfers Against Cancer fund pharmacologic research at UNC Lineberger

Howard McLeod, Pharm.D., has received a $56,000 grant from the Triad Golfers Against Cancer.

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Howard McLeod, Pharm.D., has received a $56,000 grant from the Triad Golfers Against Cancer. McLeod, director of the UNC Institute for Pharmacogenomics and Individualized Therapy (IPIT) and a member of the UNC Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center, will use the funds to conduct genetic analyses of the ability of anticancer drugs to kill cancer cells.

His co-investigators include Richard Goldberg, M.D., associate director of UNC Lineberger and physician-in-chief of the new North Carolina Cancer Hospital; and Alison Motsinger, Ph.D., and Kristy Richards, M.D., Ph.D., from the institute.

 “Although we have a number of drugs to treat cancer, we don’t know which specific drug will give the greatest help to an individual patient,” said McLeod, who is also Fred Eshelman Distinguished Professor of Pharmacotherapy and Experimental Therapeutics in the UNC Eshelman School of Pharmacy. “This study will help us discover the genes influencing how cancer drugs work and identify ways of selecting the best medication for each patient. That way, a clinician can tailor cancer treatment for each individual patient.”

McLeod said researchers will screen all FDA-approved cancer drugs to learn how much of their activity is governed by genes. The information will allow them to also isolate the specific genes responsible for each drug’s effect and develop tests for use in choosing medicines in the clinic.

Golfers Against Cancer, founded in 1997, is a national charitable organization that has raised more than $10 million to fund cancer research. The Triad group, an all-volunteer organization, has raised more than $1.5 million, all of which has been donated to four North Carolina research universities: East Carolina, Wake Forest, Duke and UNC.  Since 2006, they have funded research projects at UNC Lineberger totaling $335,000.

UNC Lineberger contact: Dianne Shaw, (919) 966-5905, dgs@med.unc.edu

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