Isabella Grumbach, MD, PhD, professor in Cardiovascular Medicine, received a one-year $20,000 pilot grant from the University of Iowa’s Holden Comprehensive Cancer Center (HCCC). The HCCC’s funding will support Grumbach’s proposed investigation to identify FDA-approved drugs used for other treatments that could also prevent damage to the cells lining blood vessels following radiation treatment. By targeting the initial damage to the endothelial cells, Grumbach and her research team hope to prevent some of the adverse long-term side effects of radiation on normal tissues, such as chronic inflammation and fibrosis.
“About 500,000 Americans receive radiation therapy as part of their cancer treatment every year. With increasing survival rates for many malignancies, long-term unintended side effects caused by radiation therapy such as cognitive decline, lung fibrosis, or heart failure have become more apparent,” Grumbach said.
Grumbach and her team will develop new high-throughput screening processes in collaboration with the College of Pharmacy’s High Throughput Screening Facility (UIHTS) to test her proposal. Established in 2012 as the first of its kind in the state of Iowa, UIHTS provides advanced screening services with a combination of robotics, sensitive detectors, and large-data processing systems to intelligently sift through millions of compound libraries.
Honored as the only NCI-designated cancer center in Iowa, the HCCC coordinates and supports cancer-related research, education, and care with faculty from 41 departments and six colleges at the university. HCCC pilot grants such as Grumbach’s allow for innovative ideas to gather data in pursuit of larger funding opportunities.