News from UVM

by VBSA-admin on January 15, 2014

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SPARK VT Initiative Seminar Series Now Available Online

The UVM College of Medicine SPARK pilot program provides small grants to researchers with ideas that can move quickly “from bench to bedside”. Part of the program was a series of seminars on a wide range of topics related to commercializing scientific know-how. These seminars are now available online at the College of Medicine website. Click here and look for the topics that interest you on the right-hand sidebar.

Food additive shows promise in slowing aggressive brain cancer cells

Diane JaworskiDr. Diane Jaworski’s laboratory in the UVM Department of Neurological Sciences has recently identified a novel, safe chemotherapeutic adjuvant that shows promise in treating gliomas, highly malignant tumors that originate in the glial cells of the brain. Despite multimodal therapy, the prognosis for cancer patients with glioblastoma, the most aggressive glioma type, remains poor due, in part, to the presence of chemotherapy and radiation resistant glioma stem cells.

Dr. Jaworski’s strategy is based on the low acetate bioavailability levels that characterize not only glioma cells, but most cancer cells. They have recently filed a patent application for the use of Triacetin (glyceryl triacetate, GTA), which can pass through the blood-brain barrier, as a way to increase chemotherapy effectiveness in slowing the growth of gliomas and increasing survival. GTA shows minimal toxicity to noncancerous cells in vitro and has a track record of safe use in human infants. According to Jaworski, “Acetate supplementation may prove to be a novel efficacious therapeutic strategy for glioma treatment since it acts at the intersection of epigenetics and metabolism, two hallmarks of aggressive tumor growth.”

triacetin effect tumors sm

In this experiment, brain tumor volume was significantly reduced when GTA was combined with chemotherapy.

Read more about Dr. Jaworski’s triacetin research here

License this technology through the UVM Office of Technology Commercialization

UVM Recruiting for an Outpatient Dengue Vaccine Study

DengueMosquito180by120The University of Vermont Vaccine Testing Center is conducting a Phase 1 evaluation of a single Dengue fever vaccine that may provide immunity against all four types of Dengue virus. Currently, there is no vaccine available to prevent this mosquito-born viral illness that causes 10–100 million cases of the disease every year. Infection with the virus may provide long-term immunity to that specific type, but does not protect against the other three types. This study will evaluate how well the vaccine promotes anti-Dengue antibody production and its safety. Participants will be involved with the study for one year and will receive two doses of live attenuated virus, six months apart.

The UVM center is actively looking for study volunteers.

Check out frequently asked questions about the study here.

Learn more about becoming a volunteer here.
[Part of the Winter 2013 Newsletter, see more in the Archives.]

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