Over half of all cancer patients receive radiation therapy as part of cancer treatment. For patients with brain tumors, radiation therapy is particularly important because many chemotherapies do not enter the brain well. Therefore, nearly all brain tumor patients receive radiation therapy. Radiation therapy works by causing DNA damage in tumor cells. We are therefore interested in how normal and malignant cells respond to DNA damage, and by extension, how the DNA damage response (DDR) can be modulated to improve cancer treatment. Specifically, our laboratory has been investigating the effects of epigenetic writers and readers on the signaling network that senses DNA damage and initiates repair, cell cycle arrest and/or cell death.
Clinical Approach: Radiotherapy and Therapeutic DNA Damage
Scientific Approach and Outcome
CometChip: Direct DNA Damage Measurement from Arrayed Cells in Microplate Format
Therapeutic Ratio: Exploiting Altered Tumor DNA Damage Repair
Dr. Floyd is a radiation oncologist and brain tumor specialist with first-hand knowledge of the devastating impact of brain tumors and side effects of many current cancer therapies. Therefore, in the laboratory we are also developing small animal irradiation techniques and mouse models of glioblastoma to test the effects of epigenetic writers and readers on the DDR in more clinically relevant model systems. In this way, we hope to identify strategies to augment tumor cell killing, and/or protect the vital normal tissues for the brain.