Rod Dashwood

Exciting Times for the Cancer Chemoprotection Program


Roderick H. Dashwood, Ph.D.
Associate Professor of 
Environmental and Molecular Toxicology 
LPI Principal Investigator
Chief, Cancer Chemoprotection Program


We are anticipating several exciting endeavors in the Cancer Chemoprotection Program (CCP) in the coming months. First and foremost will be the establishment of a CCP Core Laboratory, to be overseen by a full-time research scientist who we hope to hire later this year. The purpose of the Core Laboratory is to set up several screening assays for finding potential new cancer inhibitors in the diet. Part of the rationale for establishing a Core Laboratory has been the growing interest expressed by national and international companies in the cancer research work being conducted at LPI. Several respected research groups want LPI to become involved in testing various natural products for cancer inhibitory activity and to identify the inhibitory constituents. Initially, we plan to use the Salmonella mutagenicity assay (the "Ames test") and the single cell gel electrophoresis ("comet") assay. We plan to add the in vivo micronucleus assay later. By implementing this program, LPI will be part of an international "Round Robin" trial that will validate the comet assay and its usefulness for studying oxidative damage to DNA, such as 8-oxo-deoxyguanosine adducts produced by free radicals, which can lead to cancer. 

A second exciting initiative will be the new sabbatical program in which colleagues from around the world stay at LPI for up to one year in order to collaborate with scientists in the CCP. Importantly, these opportunities will be targeted to individuals working in a clinical context, so that the basic research at LPI can be extended into pilot trials in human volunteers. Other mechanisms for clinical research by LPI scientists will also be pursued. For example, following our recent findings on the anticancer effects of white tea in animal models, we will examine the possible inhibitory effect by white tea in people in collaboration with scientists at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory in California. 

During the past year, members of the CCP have submitted a large, multi-investigator grant proposal to the National Cancer Institute entitled "Comparative mechanisms of cancer chemoprevention". This grant, if awarded, would provide for new research on the trans-species cancer inhibitory activities of dietary constituents, including chlorophylls, indoles (e.g. indole-3-carbinol from cruciferous vegetables), and tea polyphenols. Part of the program involves studies in human subjects. Keep an eye on future newsletters for exciting developments!

Last updated November, 2001

Honoring a Scientific Giant with Nutritional Research Toward Longer, Better Lives


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