August Update: Smash Childhood Cancer

The researchers continue and expand their lab testing, while looking for additional funding.


The Smash Childhood Cancer research team has identified proteins and other molecules that play key roles in certain childhood cancers. The challenge is now to find chemical drug candidates that specifically target these key molecules and therefore control the cancer cells.

Japanese government requests input from Dr. Nakagawara

Dr. Akira Nakagawara, the principal investigator for Help Fight Childhood Cancer and founding principal investigator for this project, was recently approached by the Japanese government to provide input on a proposed national research study of childhood cancer. 

Data analysis updates

Since early this year, the researchers have been analyzing data from work run on World Community Grid.

Below are the key proteins for which we have new updates this month. Each of these proteins is involved in the development of at least one type of childhood cancer.

Beta catenin
The researchers continue testing on the two promising compounds that were mentioned in last month's update as showing activity with this protein.

The biochemist who was brought on to help with testing for this protein is now using new instruments to help with affinity testing (which is a type of testing commonly used in drug discovery to help refine initial results).

Since the last monthly update, the researchers submitted a grant proposal to the National Cancer Institute to help fund further research on this protein.

Note: Lab testing compounds for effectiveness generally requires several phases, and each phase can take at least several months.

Current status of work units


Click here to learn more about World Community Grid's monthly project updates.