A University of Northern Colorado faculty member has been awarded a three-year, $421,000 grant from the American Cancer Society to research strategies for minimizing the side effects of chemotherapy.
David Hydock and UNC researchers will study the factors that lead to severe fatigue in cancer patients being treated with the drug doxorubicin. The researchers will also continue investigating the benefits of exercise in impaired heart and skeletal muscle function — common side effects of the treatment.
Joining Hydock, an assistant professor in the School of Sport and Exercise Science, will be his mentor, Professor Reid Hayward, and two doctorate students, Eric Bredahl and Noah Gibson.
For 10 years, Hayward has been researching impaired cardiac function resulting from doxorubicin and the benefits of exercise. He was the first person in the field to conduct this type of research.
Hydock and the team will first investigate cardiac functionality and muscle functionality in a rat model, after doxorubicin has been introduced. Hydock and Hayward hope this will begin to reveal the specific elements of the drug that create such intense side effects in cancer patients receiving chemotherapy.
The second phase of the project explores the effects endurance and resistance forms of exercise have on muscle toxicity in a rat model. Through this research, the team hopes to discover new ways cancer patients can properly manage side effects of chemotherapy.
The project will begin July 1.
About the grant
The American Cancer Society Mentored Research Scholar Grant in Applied and Clinical Research provides support for mentored research and training to full-time junior faculty, typically within the initial four years of their first independent appointment. The goal is for these beginning investigators to become independent researchers as either clinical scientists or cancer control and prevention researchers. The title of Hydock's collaborative research (classified as MRSG-12-179-01-PCSM from the American Cancer Society) is "Doxorubicin Treatment and Skeletal Muscle Function: Effects of Exercise."