Grant to aid cancer treatment research

May 14, 2015

RUTLEDGE-FOUNDATION-WEB

Laura Rutledge and Dr. Andras Lacko

An experimental vaccine gave Carley Rutledge the chance to live a full life after Ewing’s sarcoma nearly took it away when she was 15.

Now 20, she’s a college student studying conservation biology and chemistry.

The same positive outlook could one day be shared by other young adult cancer survivors thanks to research being conducted at UNT Health Science Center. A $60,000 grant from the Rutledge Foundation is helping Dr. Andras Lacko, Professor of Physiology and Pediatrics, further his research on a drug-carrying delivery system that targets and destroys cancer cells. The hope is that this novel approach will one day be used to treat Ewing’s sarcoma.

The Lipoprotein Cancer Therapeutics lab, which recently opened at UNTHSC, will provide Dr. Lacko with more space and a larger staff to further his research in developing a way to use “good cholesterol” nanoparticles to selectively destroy tumors.

“It’s clear that cancer is an extremely complex disease, and the cells have many unique properties,” he said. “We want to see if find a better treatment with nanoparticles for this type of cancer.”

Over 30 years there has been little improvement in the treatment of Ewing’s sarcoma, said Laura Rutledge, the Foundation’s executive director and Carley’s mother.

“They basically give these kids as much chemo as they can tolerate before it kills them,” she said. “The lack of improvement in therapies and dangerous side effects is what drove me to start the Foundation.”

The non-profit organization funds immune-based targeted therapies because that is where the future of cancer treatment lies, Mrs. Rutledge said.

“Dr. Lacko’s research appealed to us because he’s using a natural process in the body as a vehicle for chemo so it goes straight to cancer without harming other cells,” she said.

The drug delivery method being studied by Dr. Lacko is anticipated to spare patients from the harmful effects of chemotherapy. He is studying ovarian and prostate cancer and now Ewing’s sarcoma.

“We are very fortunate to get this support,” he said. “It allows us to continue doing what we believe will be helpful in the treatment of cancer.”

Dr. Sid O'Bryant
Early findings of innovative study of Alzheimer’s among diverse populations available to dementia researchers

  A growing trove of data to help scientists understand the biology of Alzheimer’s disease among diverse populations within the context of sociocultural, behavioral and environmental factors is now available through the Institute for Translational Research at The University of North Te...Read more

Jun 22, 2021

Vic Holmes, Mpas, Edd, Pa C Assistant Professor
HSC Pride: Increased pronoun use is an emerging trend among health professionals

By Diane Smith-Pinckney The embroidery on Vic Holmes’ black scrubs identify him as a physician assistant and an ally to LGBTQ+ patients. The words, stitched under a rainbow-colored Caduceus pin and near his heart, read: “Vic Holmes, PA-C, He/Him/His, Family Medicine.” Pronouns are...Read more

Jun 21, 2021

Hsc Katie Pelch
Public health scientist lends expertise to national database addressing safer use of chemicals in our environment

By Sally Crocker Katie Pelch, PhD, wants you to know what’s in our environment and how the chemicals we’re exposed to every day may affect our health. Dr. Pelch is a part-time Assistant Professor, Department of Biostatistics and Epidemiology, in the HSC School of Public Health (SPH), where...Read more

Jun 21, 2021

Hsc Tcom Gold Humanism Society Inductees Fc
TCOM Chapter of the Gold Humanism Honor Society welcomes new inductees 

By Steven Bartolotta The humanistic side of medicine is alive and well at Texas College of Osteopathic Medicine. The TCOM Chapter of the Arnold P Gold Foundation inducted 45 students and four faculty members into the Gold Humanism Honor Society on the campus of The University of North Texas H...Read more

Jun 15, 2021