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Dr. Chi Viet, DDS, PhD; receives a grant from the Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery Foundation

March 19, 2012

Congratulations to Chi Viet, DDS, PhD; on being awarded a grant from the Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery Foundation in the amount of $75,000 for the proposal “Pre-Clinical Trial of Decitabine and Cisplatin Combination Therapy as a Novel Approach”. Her grant was also chosen for the Stephen B. Milam award, which is given to the most outstanding grant application submitted.

Dr. Viet’s project will focus on identifying selected genes involved in the treatment response to cisplatin, a chemotherapy drug used to treat head and neck squamous cell carcinoma (HNSCC). The aim of this study is to establish a methylation biomarker of cisplatin-resistance in HNSCC. This "methylation biomarker" involves critical genes that become methylated and silenced in the setting of cisplatin resistance. In addition, by using a pre-clinical model this study will determine whether treatment with demethylating drugs could re-express the methylated genes, restore cisplatin sensitivity, inhibit HNSCC proliferation, control cancer pain and restore orofacial function.

Cisplatin is the most potent and most widely used chemotherapeutic agent for advanced stage head and neck squamous cell carcinomas (HNSCC); however, once cisplatin resistance develops there are no effective therapies for HNSCC. Sensitivity to this drug correlates with disease progression and reduced survival of the patient.  Results of this study may provide insights that can be used to improve the treatment of these patients.

Dr. Chi Viet is a second year resident in the MD -degree Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery program at New York University. In addition, she is a post-doctoral scholar in the Translational Cancer Pain Research Lab, of which Brian Schmidt, DDS, MD, PhD; is the principal investigator. She received her D.D.S. and Ph.D. from the University of California, San Francisco.