UT Health San Antonio awarded roughly $16.4M to advance cancer research

SAN ANTONIO – Greehey Children’s Cancer Research Institute is one of two institutes in the United States dedicated solely to pediatric cancer research and recently, they were awarded millions of dollars to advance their research.

“The goal of this institute is threefold. To find new therapeutics, new treatment for pediatric cancer patients. Also, to improve their quality of life and education,” Manjeet Rao, PhD, professor and deputy director with the Greehey Children’s Cancer Research Institute at UT Health San Antonio said.

UT Health San Antonio was awarded approximately $16.4 million from the Cancer Prevention and Research Institute of Texas or CPRIT over the past six months. About $10.4 million of it is going to the Greehey Children’s Cancer Research Institute, or to some area of pediatric cancer research.

“The CPRIT money will play a very important role. This is given to one of our scientists here who works on Ewing Sarcoma. Ewing Sarcoma is a soft tissue sarcoma that affects little kids and it’s very nasty. Once it’s metastasized to different organs there is no cure for it. So, this money will help us understand what makes this Ewing Sarcoma cells not to respond to drugs, why they don’t respond to drugs, and what can we do about it,” Rao said.

Rao showed around one of the 21 labs at the Greehey Children’s Cancer Research Institute at UT Health San Antonio, located in the Medical Center.

Scientists work to find new and less toxic treatments for childhood cancers and Rao said there are researchers from all over the world working there that are helping with the mission of the institute.

“Our goal is to bring the best brain from all over the world who not only understand cancer research, but also dedicated to doing and finding something. And that’s why it’s important. And it’s helped us tremendously. We have scientists from all over the world. Representing from Mexico, from Canada, from India, from China,” Rao said.

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