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Chocolate Tour

Sat August 5, 2023


Supporting Cancer Research through walking, & biking

Funds raised at the annual Chocolate Tour support the Chocolate Cancer Research Fund.
Providing support to local research labs


2019-2020 Projects being supported in part through Chocolate Tour funds

Project 1 is developing drugs to activate the patient’s own immune system to more effectively go after the cancer cells.  A current approach being explored at Penn State uses drugs that kill tumor cells in such a way that it attracts Natural Killer cells into the tumor to more effectively remove the tumor.
Project 2 is identifying new genes that cause cancer.  This project has discovered the first gene that co-operates with inflammation to allow the cancer cells to become active in the body.  This is the first time in the world that a gene has been identified to function in this way.  Penn State scientists are using exercise to control inflammation to prevent the functioning of this gene. 
Project 3 is developing new more effective drugs to treat cancer patients.  Currently Penn State Cancer researchers are developing a better more effective drug than any that exists to target Aldehyde Dehydrogenase in cancer stem cells.  The drug being developed is better than any currently available one and is loaded into a nanoparticle to prevent toxicity.  The drug has been found to effective at preventing resistant cancer caused by Aldehyde Dehydrogenase expressing cancer stem cells.

Past Projects supported in part through Chocolate Tour funds

Past projects supported in part by funds generated through the Chocolate Tour are acknowledged in manuscripts as being supported in part through the “Chocolate Tour Cancer Research Fund”.  A listing of these project publications are:
Loss of miR-155 upregulates WEE1 in metastatic melanoma. DiSano JA, Huffnagle I, Gowda R, Spiegelman VS, Robertson GP, Pameijer CR. Melanoma Res. 2019 Apr;29(2):216-219. doi: 10.1097/CMR.0000000000000545. PMID:  30499870
Nanoliposomal delivery of cytosolic phospholipase A2 inhibitor arachidonyl trimethyl ketone for melanoma treatment. Gowda R, Dinavahi SS, Iyer S, Banerjee S, Neves RI, Pameijer CR, Robertson GP. Nanomedicine. 2018 Apr;14(3):863-873. doi: 10.1016/j.nano.2017.12.020. Epub 2018 Jan 6.
PMID:  29317343
Identification of WEE1 as a target to make AKT inhibition more effective in melanoma.
Kuzu OF, Gowda R, Sharma A, Noory MA, Kardos G, Madhunapantula SV, Drabick JJ, Robertson GP. Cancer Biol Ther. 2018 Jan 2;19(1):53-62. doi: 10.1080/15384047.2017.1360446. Epub 2017 Nov 30. PMID: 28853983
Nanoparticle-Based Celecoxib and Plumbagin for the Synergistic Treatment of Melanoma.
Gowda R, Kardos G, Sharma A, Singh S, Robertson GP. Mol Cancer Ther. 2017 Mar;16(3):440-452. doi: 10.1158/1535-7163.MCT-16-0285. Epub 2016 Dec 21. PMID:  28003325
Targeting cholesterol transport in circulating melanoma cells to inhibit metastasis. Chen YC, Gowda R, Newswanger RK, Leibich P, Fell B, Rosenberg G, Robertson GP. Pigment Cell Melanoma Res. 2017 Jan; 30(6):541-552. doi: 10.1111/pcmr.12614. Epub 2017 Oct 15. PMID:  28685959
Synergistic inhibitory effects of Celecoxib and Plumbagin on melanoma tumor growth. Gowda R, Sharma A, Robertson GP. Cancer Lett. 2017 Jan 28;385:243-250. doi: 10.1016/j.canlet.2016.10.016. Epub 2016 Oct 18. PMID: 27769779
Moving Synergistically Acting Drug Combinations to the Clinic by Comparing Sequential versus Simultaneous Drug Administrations.  Dinavahi SS, Noory MA, Gowda R, Drabick JJ, Berg A, Neves RI, Robertson GP. Mol Pharmacol. 2018 Mar;93(3):190-196. doi: 10.1124/mol.117.110759. Epub 2017 Dec 14. PMID:  29242354
Identifying the structure-activity relationship of leelamine necessary for inhibiting intracellular cholesterol transport. Gowda R, Inamdar GS, Kuzu O, Dinavahi SS, Krzeminski J, Battu MB, Voleti SR, Amin S, Robertson GP. Oncotarget. 2017 Apr 25;8(17):28260-28277. doi: 10.18632/oncotarget.16002. PMID:  28423677
Targeting protein kinase-b3 (akt3) signaling in melanoma. Madhunapantula SV, Robertson GP. Expert Opin Ther Targets. 2017 Mar;21(3):273-290. doi: 10.1080/14728222.2017.1279147. Epub 2017 Jan 16. Review. PMID: 28064546
Future of circulating tumor cells in the melanoma clinical and research laboratory settings. De Souza LM, Robertson BM, Robertson GP. Cancer Lett. 2017 Apr 28;392:60-70. doi: 10.1016/j.canlet.2017.01.023. Epub 2017 Feb 2. Review. PMID:  28163189
Malignant melanoma-The cradle of anti-neoplastic immunotherapy. Koller KM, Wang W, Schell TD, Cozza EM, Kokolus KM, Neves RI, Mackley HB, Pameijer C, Leung A, Anderson B, Mallon CA, Robertson G, Drabick JJ. Crit Rev Oncol Hematol. 2016 Oct;106:25-54. doi: 10.1016/j.critrevonc.2016.04.010. Epub 2016 May 7. Review. PMID:  27637351
Lung Cancer
Metastasis suppressor 1 (MTSS1) expression is associated with reduced in-vivo metastasis and enhanced patient survival in lung adenocarcinoma. Taylor MD, Bollt O, Iyer SC, Robertson GP. Clin Exp Metastasis. 2018 Feb;35(1-2):15-23. doi: 10.1007/s10585-017-9869-3. Epub 2017 Dec 7.  PMID: 29218652
Pediatric LGL leukemia
Targeting casein kinase II restores Ikaros tumor suppressor activity and demonstrates therapeutic efficacy in high-risk leukemia. Song C, Gowda C, Pan X, Ding Y, Tong Y, Tan BH, Wang H, Muthusami S, Ge Z, Sachdev M, Amin SG, Desai D, Gowda K, Gowda R, Robertson GP, Schjerven H, Muschen M, Payne KJ, Dovat S. Blood. 2015 Oct;126(15):1813-22. doi: 10.1182/blood-2015-06-651505. Epub 2015 Jul 28. PMID:  26219304

We thank all of our participants, supporters and sponsors for helping to fund innovative projects.

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