Nameeta Richard, MD, Pediatric Hematology Oncology Fellow, 3rd year
Umpqua Bank Innovation Award for Pediatric Cancer Research
Title: "Functional Significance of Tumor-initiating Cells in Recurrent Head and Neck Squamous Cell Carcinoma"
Abstract: Childhood T-cell leukemia is bad. Everything you have heard about the great advances in childhood leukemia therapy does not necessarily work for this evil disease. Even when we cure a child with T-cell leukemia, there are lots of side effects that lead to poor quality of life. My research is focused on finding new ways to target important proteins which affect the growth of T-cell leukemia cells. First, I tested these drugs in T-cell leukemia cancer cell lines and found they keep the T-cell cancer lines from growing. Next, I will test these drugs in pediatric T-cell leukemia patient samples. Finally, I will use these drugs to treat mice which have T-cell leukemia tumors. This will help to develop better treatments for children with T-cell leukemia.