Research Could Spur Development of Novel Oral Cancer Therapeutic Strategies That Target Sensory Neurons
The award provides $950,000 over 5 years for Scheff’s investigation of the reciprocal impact of neuron-cancer communication on oral cancer pain and oral cancer growth. Under the initial phase of the award, Scheff will receive support for 2 years of mentored postdoctoral research and career development under Schmidt. The second phase will provide 3 years of additional research funding after Scheff transitions to an independent research position, according to NYU News.
Scheff’s previous research revealed pain-like behavior in a preclinical model of oral cancer. In that model Scheff found that neurons adjacent to the tumor responded at a lower stimulation threshold. Scheff also discovered that nerves adjacent to a tumor can play a significant role in cancer progression.