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Neelam Giri and Blanche Alter Receive FLEX Award for Study on Metformin Use as Cancer Prevention in Fanconi Anemia Patients

Neelam Giri and Blanche Alter

Neelam Giri and Blanche Alter

In February 2020, Neelam Giri, M.D., M.B.B.S., staff clinician in the Clinical Genetics Branch (CGB), and Blanche Alter, M.D., M.P.H., senior clinician in CGB, in collaboration with Rosandra Kaplan from the Center for Cancer Research (CCR), received a 2020 CCR-DCEG FLEX award, for their project, “Metformin for prevention of oral squamous cell carcinoma in patients with Fanconi anemia.” 

Fanconi Anemia (FA) is a DNA repair disorder with cancer predisposition. Many individuals with FA die from head and neck cancer in the second to fourth decade of life. The clinical and laboratory studies of this project will provide a framework for the use of metformin as a chemopreventive agent in FA, individuals with other cancer-prone inherited bone marrow failure syndromes such as dyskeratosis congenita, and in those in the general population who are at high risk of oral cancer. Understanding the microenvironmental components of the transition from premalignant lesion to head and neck cancer in patients with FA may help to define possible targets for clinical intervention. The ultimate goal is to reduce cancer-associated mortality, morbidity, and to improve the quality of life for individuals with FA.

About the CCR-DCEG Flex Program 
CCR and DCEG pursue highly complementary approaches to cancer research and prevention. To foster integrative studies that take advantage of expertise in population-based epidemiological studies in DCEG and basic biology and clinical research in CCR, the FLEX program awards proposals for the formation of joint research teams to perform high-impact, collaborative research projects in the area of cancer mechanism, diagnosis, prognosis, susceptibility, predisposition, or prevention. Learn more about the program CCR-DCEG Flex Award program.

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