Southern Miss research team studying new cancer drug therapy - WDAM - TV 7 - News, Weather and Sports

Southern Miss research team studying new cancer drug therapy

Posted: Updated:
HATTIESBURG, MS (WDAM) -

Polymer researchers at The University of Southern Mississippi are conducting studies that could revolutionize the drug delivery process for cancer patients.

A research team under the direction of Dr. Daniel Savin is hoping to create a cancer treatment that will deliver drug therapies to targeted locations, instead of current treatments that impact almost every organ in the body.

"The idea here is we want to create a polymeric vehicle that can do the same job, but only deliver to the cancer tumor," said Savin, assistant professor of polymer science.

Savin's team is using its vast knowledge of polymers to study how specifically developed proteins can respond to a variety of conditions in the body. This represents a different take on what is usually associated with commercially developed plastics.

"Instead of looking at plastic sheets for example, we are more interested in the properties of these polymers and what they do in solution, in the bloodstream, in serum, under different types of conditions," Savin said.

Ashley Johnson, a fifth-year Southern Miss graduate student, spends countless hours engaged this ground-breaking research project. This particular project hits very close to home for Johnson.

"My mom actually was diagnosed with multiple myeloma about two years ago," Johnson said. "So my research as far as the drug delivery, especially accentuating the chemotherapy aspect, means a lot to me now."

Johnson notes that the idea of creating a more efficient drug delivery method serves as a daily inspiration.

"We know the chemotherapy does kill the cancer cells, and it is a good thing, but anybody walking the streets can see the negative side effects, people losing their hair and how sick they get," Johnson said. "So just to know that we can help somebody out, especially now that I see my mom and how miserable you can be, maybe to make life a little bit more enjoyable, it makes everything worth the headache for sure."

To learn more about the School of Polymers and High Performance Materials at The University of Southern Mississippi, call 601.266.4868 or visit: http://www.usm.edu/polymer

  • LOCALLOCALMore>>

  • One dead, one in custody after late night shooting in Hattiesburg

    One dead, one in custody after late night shooting in Hattiesburg

    Saturday, August 23 2014 9:24 AM EDT2014-08-23 13:24:41 GMT
    A Hattiesburg man is dead, and another in custody after a late night shooting on Dabbs Street.  Carlos Yancey, 35, of Hattiesburg died from what appeared to be a gun shot wound according Forrest CountyMore >>
    A Hattiesburg man is dead, and another in custody after a late night shooting on Dabbs Street.More >>
  • A rally to prevent drop-outs

    A rally to prevent drop-outs

    Saturday, August 23 2014 2:00 AM EDT2014-08-23 06:00:12 GMT
    Gautier schools came together this Thursday for a Destination Graduation celebration. Destination Graduation is a drop-out prevention program put in place by the Pascagoula School District to raise theMore >>
    Gautier schools came together this Thursday for a Destination Graduation celebration.
    Destination Graduation is a drop-out prevention program put in place by the Pascagoula School District to raise the graduation rate to 100% over the next five years.








     
    More >>
  • Lee Vance named Jackson's new Chief of Police

    Lee Vance named Jackson's new Chief of Police

    Saturday, August 23 2014 1:16 AM EDT2014-08-23 05:16:23 GMT
    Mayor Tony Yarber has officially named Lee Vance as Jackson's new Chief of Police. Vance is a 27 year veteran with the Jackson Police Department.  He has held several leadership positions within theMore >>

    "He has proven leadership and respect in the community and among the rank and file in the Jackson Police Department," Yarber said. "He also shares the administration's vision for a holistic approach to crime-fighting and crime prevention."More >>