Supported Research

Synthetic Lethal Approaches to Treatment of FA Gene Mutant Head and Neck Cancer

2020 | Yale School of Medicine and Georgetown School of Medicine | Research Grant

Amount Funded: $250,000

Head and neck cancer in adult Fanconi anemia patients is often poorly managed with standard treatments. New drugs that work on controlling the cell cycle and cell division, rather than by damaging the cell’s DNA, may be safer in patients with FA. Researchers have preliminary evidence that combinations of these drugs are active in head and neck cancer. Using head and neck cancers that have mutations in Fanconi genes, researchers propose to test whether these combinations can kill cancer cells with Fanconi gene mutations as a way to decide whether to test them in patients with FA. Dr. Burtness will also engage with Dr. Erica Golemis at the Fox Chase center and Caris Life Sciences to have access to a significant bio-repository and genomic information that will accelerate the research program.

Researchers: Barbara Burtness, Gary Kupfer