PITCH Promising Project Award for Cancer Stem Cell Research

Very high magnification micrograph of B-cell chronic lymphocytic leukemia/small cell lymphoma. (Nephron/Wikimedia Commons)

Xiuling Lu, an associate professor in UConn’s Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences has been awarded a PITCH (Program in Innovative Therapeutics for Connecticut’s Health) Promising Project award to begin work on a project investigating a new and potentially safer cancer treatment.

Cancers often relapse or are resistant to chemotherapy treatments due to the presence of a relatively rare subset of stem cells, which are undifferentiated cells that can give rise to many other kinds of bodily cells.

Lu has been collaborating with Rajeswari (Raji) Kasi, a professor at the UConn Institute of Materials Science to develop polymeric nanoparticles. These polymeric nanoparticles contain doxorubicin – a common chemotherapy drug – that can prevent leukemia stem cells from self-renewing through the inhibition of one of the essential pathways involved in stem cell survival and differentiation. Read the full UConn Today story.