THE CONCEPTION

The Journal of Clinical Oncology(JCO) initiative of supporting the Young Investigator Awards(YIA) is to primarily fund the physician to have a smooth transition from a fellowship program to an appointed faculty member. ASCO’s President “George Canellos” during his tenure 1993 to 1994, had this brilliant idea of JCO supporting the YIA to encourage more young and bright minds to join the research team and pursue a career in clinical oncology.

THE RESEARCH

The Journal of Clinical Oncology has awarded the YIA to Mr Rahul S.Vedula, MD, a haematology and oncology fellow at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute.

Dr Rahul’s research’s primary focus is on Acute Myeloid Leukaemia (AML), which is one of the most challenging diseases to treat. The mutations in the genes control the cell’s response to the growth signals. These strange mutations are the reason for the uncontrollable growth of leukaemia cells.

ERK is one of the most critical molecules that promote cancer cells’ growth by positively regulating the genes. In most AML patients, the ERK parameter is high, and these lead to a conclusion that there are additional methods of gene control called epigenetic mechanism. So, one of the practical routes to cure AML patients would be by preventing ERK’s effect on leukaemia cell growth.

THE CONCLUSION

Dr Rahul Vedula is researching on the approach of ERK Inhibitions. He is on the verge of a clinical phase 1 trial of a new ERK inhibitor that will regulate and discover the appropriate dosage, toxicity levels, and initial drug effectiveness.