February 02, 2007
  Top Story

ocal Car Enthusiasts
   Chris Goetz, founder of Cowtown Cruisin’ for a Cure,
   top right, presents a $10,000 check for prostate cancer research to
   Dr. Andras Lacko, top left, and President Scott Ransom, center.
   Next to Goetz is the president of the Cowown Cruisin’ for a Cure board
   of directors, Scott McConnell. Sitting next to Dr. Walter McConathy,
   seated far right, are two more board members, Terry Mann, left,
   and Fran McCarthy.

Prostate cancer researchers earn international attention and local
donor support

After eight years of perfecting an approach to cancer therapy that nobody else could make work, Andras Lacko, PhD, molecular biology and immunology, and Walter McConathy, PhD, internal medicine, are ready to apply for a patent. They have developed a system that uses lipoprotein-based nanoparticles to carry cancer-fighting drugs through the body to targeted areas with minimal side effects, a technique that has the promise to yield a novel therapeutic approach for treating prostate cancer.

Their work is getting attention. Drs. Lacko and McConathy were invited to write a chapter about their work for the newly released book, “Nanotechnology for Cancer Therapy,” and Dr. Lacko has been invited to present their findings this spring at BioProcess International, Europe’s foremost biopharmaceutical industry conference. In January, Dr. Lacko conducted a Grand Rounds seminar on “Novel Drug Delivery Technology for Cancer Chemotherapy” on campus.

The research team’s work has primarily been funded by grants from the Department of Defense and the American Cancer Society. In January, they received their largest single private gift, $10,000, from Cowtown Cruisin’ for a Cure, an annual car show in downtown Fort Worth that has raised money for research and treatment for prostate cancer since 2002.

The founder of Cowtown Cruisin’ for a Cure, Chris Goetz, a prostate cancer survivor, began designating a portion of the car show’s proceeds to UNTHSC research after he was introduced to Dr. Lacko and his team by fellow survivor Richard Schaffer, MD, a retired Fort Worth pathologist. Dr. Schaffer had established a prostate cancer research fund in the UNTHSC Foundation in 2000 in memory of a close friend who had lost his battle with the disease.

Dr. Lacko says that private donations are needed to purchase equipment and supplies. Their goal is to expand their studies enough to earn major national funding and, eventually, the attention of a pharmaceutical company interested in developing their system. Any individual or organization can make donations to the fund by contacting the UNTHSC Office of Institutional Advancement. UNT HSC Logo  

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