Early Career Researcher Receives Federal Funding For Deadly Prostate Cancer Research

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prostate cancer is more diagnosed than any other type of cancer in men and is the second leading cause of cancer-related death in men. Androgen Deprivation Therapy (ADT) is usually the first-line treatment for metastatic prostate cancer, but eventually the cancer becomes resistant. This form of the disease is called castration-resistant prostate cancer (CRPC) and is currently incurable.

Chengfei Liu, researcher at the UC Davis Comprehensive Cancer Center, receives an NCI grant to continue his research into metastatic prostate cancer. Chengfei Liu, UC Davis Comprehensive Cancer Center researcher, receives an NCI grant to continue his research into metastatic prostate cancer.

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UC Davis Comprehensive Cancer Center scientist Chengfei Liu is relentless in his quest to find out why CRPC is evolving to become drug resistant. He recently made a coveted $2 million National Cancer Institute (NCI) grant to continue its research on CRPC.

β€œDr. Liu is the first early-stage cancer researcher to win the R37 award at UC Davis,” director of the UC Davis Comprehensive Cancer Center Primo “Lucky” Lara Jr. said. “This award will help him advance his career and his research, while making a significant contribution to our understanding of what causes drug-resistant prostate cancer.”

Liu has extensive expertise in clinical oncology and prostate cancer research. In particular, he has learned that by blocking a defective protein pathway, treatment-resistant prostate cancer cells can become vulnerable to standard treatments such as the drug enzalutamide.

β€œI am delighted and honored to receive the R37 award and continue progress in key avenues controlling prostate cancer resistance,” said Liu. “This gives hope of finding new therapeutic targets that will have a meaningful impact on patients diagnosed with CRPC.”

Liu, an assistant professor at the UC Davis Department of Urological Surgery, was previously at UC Davis Paul Calabresi Career Development K12 program as dean scientist.

Liu starts his R37 price on July 1. He will serve as principal investigator, supported by several collaborators, including: Christopher P. Evans, professor and chair of the Department of Urological Surgery, Mamta Parikh, assistant professor at the Department of Hematology and Oncology, Brett S. Phinney, director of UC Davis Genome Center Proteomics Core, and Blythe P Durbin Johnson, biostatistician at the Department of Public Health Sciences.

UC Davis Comprehensive Cancer Center

UC Davis Comprehensive Cancer Center is the only National Cancer Institute-designated center serving the Central Valley and inland Northern California, a region of more than 6 million people. The specialists provide compassionate, comprehensive care to more than 15,000 adults and children each year and have access to more than 150 active clinical trials at any time. The innovative research program includes more than 225 UC Davis scientists working together to advance the discovery of new tools for cancer diagnosis and treatment. Patients have access to advanced care, including immunotherapy and other targeted treatments. The Office of Community Outreach and Engagement addresses the differences in cancer outcomes among different populations, and the cancer center provides comprehensive education and staffing programs for the next generation of clinicians and scientists. For more information visit cancer.ucdavis.edu.

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