We’re proud to announce that our Adolescent and Young Adult Oncology Fellow, Lara Davis, MD, has won the Damon Runyon-Sohn Pediatric Cancer Fellowship Award. This award is given to basic scientists and clinicians who are conducting research with the potential to have a significant impact on the prevention, diagnosis or treatment of pediatric cancers.
No one can say it better than the winner herself. So, here’s what Dr. Davis has to say about her project and what this award means to her and the potential cure for cancer.
“Osteosarcoma is a bone cancer that occurs in teenagers and young adults. For the past thirty years, nearly everyone with osteosarcoma has been treated with surgery and the same combination of chemotherapy drugs. There has been no improvement in survival rates over those past twenty years, but the chemotherapy is so toxic that we cannot just give more of the same drugs to try and save more people.
The goal of my project is to improve the chance of survival for each patient with osteosarcoma by designing personalized treatment regimens consisting of new molecularly-targeted drugs. I grow patients’ tumor cells in the laboratory, test drugs to see which ones kill the most cells and then investigate why certain drugs work for certain patients’ tumors.
My hope is that these results will lead to personalized, scientifically-validated targeted drug combinations that will help cure patients with osteosarcoma while providing an example of how this process could be used to help people with other deadly cancers.”
Congratulations to Dr. Davis! We can’t wait to see all of the amazing work this award will make possible.