Wayne State University Researchers Seek Calcium Channels To Target Cancer Tumors

Originally posted on CBS Detroit:

DETROIT — Two Wayne State University researchers are working on a technique that could lead to easier, faster identification of cancer tumors that can be effectively treated by calcium channel-based therapies.

Rod Braun, associate professor of anatomy and cell biology in the School of Medicine, recently received a two-year, $322,000 grant from the National Cancer Institute of the National Institutes of Health to use manganese-enhanced magnetic resonance imaging to noninvasively determine the activity of different calcium channels in tumors.

Braun and co-principal investigator Bruce Berkowitz, professor of anatomy and  cell biology and ophthalmology, and director of the School of Medicine’s Small Animal MRI Facility, are hoping the technique can be used to guide and individualize calcium channel-based treatment of cancer.

Previous research has shown that different types of cancer cells highly express a number of plasma membrane calcium channels, making them important potential therapeutic targets in tumors. Drugs that target…

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