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Contribution of OCTN1 to toxicity from oxaliplatin-based cancer therapy

54 months
Approved budget:
Professor Mark McKeage
Health issue:
Cancer (oncology)
Proposal type:
Lay summary
Cancer treatment with the platinum drug oxaliplatin has contributed greatly to improving patient outcomes from large bowel cancer, which is diagnosed in 3000 New Zealanders annually. Nerve damage is the major side-effect of oxaliplatin, which interferes with the delivery of this important treatment and quality-of-life long after its completion. We recently found that a cell membrane protein called OCTN1 is involved in the processes whereby nerve cells accumulate high levels of platinum during treatment with oxaliplatin. We aim to definitively establish the critical role of OCTN1 in the development of nerve damage from oxaliplatin, and its potential as a target for developing treatments for limiting this side-effect. To do so, we plan studies of mice and cells, in which the OCTN1 gene is modified, in parallel with investigating OCTN1 function in cancer patients undergoing oxaliplatin chemotherapy. This research will improve understanding and clinical management of nerve damage from cancer chemotherapy.