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Cancer Mechanobiology

Principal Investigator: T Franz

Cancer in South Africa in particular, and Africa in general is on the rise. By focusing on our unique challenges, determined by genetics and lifestyle, we need to understand cancer and the potency of drugs in our population in a quantitative and detailed manner to improve health outcomes. This focus on our cancers, and their response to locally available drugs is the fundamental premise of our proposal. Our results, on one hand will bring new research tools to the country, and on the other, will give us novel information about cancer in an Africa centric perspective which would be highly valuable not only to the country but to the region as a whole.

One of the grand challenges in cancer treatment around the world continues to be rapid and rising chemoresistance. Chemoresistance can render a potent drug regimen ineffective and leads to rapid decline in the health of the patient. The challenge, while historically has been associated with genetic factors, is now considered to be far more complex than previously thought. Recent studies have highlighted the role of cellular structure and extra-cellular composition, mechanics and structure as contributors to rapid chemoresistance.

Cancer Cell Drug Resistance

G Higgins, R Smith, T Abdalrahman, J Kim, MH Zaman, S Prince, T Franz

With a surge of research activity globally demonstrating mechanics as a potent tool and a marker for aggressive cancers, the aim of this research project is to investigate the link between mechanics, cancer and chemoresistance in South African populations.

Source: Wikimedia