Surinder Kumar, PhD

University of Michigan

The sirtuin SIRT5 as a novel therapeutic target for Ewing's Sarcoma

Dr. Kumar is a research investigator at the University of Michigan studying the proteins on Ewing’s sarcoma cells. The objective of his Powered by Pablove research grant is to identify targets for less toxic and more effective treatment options for this aggressive bone tumor.

In Dr. Kumar’s own words:

With the generous support of the Pablove Foundation, we are attempting to devise new future treatments for Ewing’s Sarcoma (EWS). EWS is an aggressive cancer of bone or soft tissue that mainly affects children and young adults. Fortunately, most EWS patients can be cured with current treatment options, including surgery, local radiation as well as chemotherapy. However, if this cancer spreads to other parts of the body, it is very difficult to cure. In addition, current EWS treatments have side effects that can damage normal tissues and organs, compromising the quality of life in survivors. Therefore, there is an urgent need to develop better therapeutic approaches that have fewer side effects, and that can also effectively treat patients whose cancer has spread. In our project we are studying a protein called SIRT5, which is not required in most normal cells, but is crucial for EWS cell survival. By understanding how this protein works in EWS cells, we hope to eventually inhibit it, to kill EWS cancer selectively, while having minimal side effects in normal tissues.

Awarded in 2019