University of Minnesota research teams will continue improving stem cell transplants and treatments with renewed five-year program research grants totaling $26 million.
The National Cancer Institute awarded the grants to physicians Philip McGlave and Jeffrey Miller.
Miller’s research of natural killer cells, a key component of the immune system, will help reduce the rate of relapse for leukemia patients after a transplant.
Further research provided by the grant will fund the selection of donors for transplants based on natural killer cells. It will also help pay for clinical trials to test the effectiveness of umbilical cord blood in preventing diseases that may occur with stem cell transplant patients.
McGlave, deputy director of the Masonic Cancer Center, has been working on the project for 15 years under similar NCI funding. The new $12.6 million grant will help fund years 16 to 20 of his research.
Miller, associate director of the Masonic Cancer Center’s Experimental Therapeutics Program, was awarded $13.3 million of the grant, which will fund years six to ten of his team’s research into better understanding natural killer cells.