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    Research home > Beat Cancer Project > Finding ways to improve chemotherapy

    Finding ways to improve chemotherapy

    Professor Stuart Pitson

    Targeting sphingosine kinase 1c degradation to enhance cancer chemotherapeutic sensitivity


    Our research

    Sphingosine kinase is a protein that when uncontrolled (dysregulated) is involved in cancer development and progression. We have recently made a substantial breakthrough by identifying a new modified form of sphingosine kinase that is turned on in some cancers, and found that when this occurs it contributes to the development of chemotherapeutic resistance in some cancers. 


    What we aim to achieve

    This project is directed towards understanding what turns on this modified form of sphingosine kinase so we can target it to improve cancer therapy.


    What are the next steps and milestones for your research?

    The findings from our project will help to understand the molecular basis of why some cancers develop resistance to chemotherapeutics, identify a new therapeutic target for these cancers, and potentially lead to new and more effective therapies. 


    What motivates you to pursue cancer research?

    Cancer touches us all, with almost everyone having had family members, friends or colleagues suffer this disease. We cancer researchers are no exception, providing considerable motivation for our work. To be afforded the opportunity to work towards understanding cancer and developing better outcomes for cancer sufferers is a great responsibility that we take very seriously.


    My message to supporters:

    The development of effective cancer treatments challenging. Basic understanding of the molecular basis of cancer is the cornerstone to the development of new therapies and meeting this challenge. Funding from Cancer Council SA donors has been critical for advancing our cancer research. We are very grateful to the generous donors and supporters of the Cancer Council SA who help us to do this work.



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