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Heather Wilson-Robles DVM
Funded: 07-01-2017 through 06-30-2018
Funding Type: Research Grant
Institution Location: College Station, TX
Institution: Texas A&M AgriLife Research

Cancer is a genetic disease in which a cell learns to take advantage of certain processes that allow that cell to grow and survive unchecked. Bone cancer is an aggressive disease in both children and pet dogs that can be painful and often leads to death of the patient even with aggressive surgery and chemotherapy. Most often these patients die because the tumor has spread to other areas of the body, not from the original bone tumor, which is often removed with surgery. Therefore, in order to better battle this disease, new therapies that target the cells that spread are needed. Preliminary work with a new drug that targets this process has shown promise as just such a therapy. The goal of The Ben's Green Drakkoman St. Baldrick's Research Grant is to more thoroughly investigate this drug for its ability to prevent or delay spread of the tumor cells using both human and dog bone tumor cells. This grant is named for the Ben's Green Drakkoman Fund, created to honor the memory of Ben Stowell who battled osteosarcoma with an inspiring determination to live life fully. The fund is named after a super hero Ben created named the Green Drakkoman who defeats his enemy, the Evil Alien.