Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America

About the PNAS Member Editor
Name Carson, Dennis A.
Location University of California, San Diego
Primary Field Medical Genetics, Hematology and Oncology
Secondary Field Immunology and Inflammation
 Election Citation
Carson developed a new agent for the treatment of hairy cell leukemia that can cure the disease after a single infusion. He has also discovered a number of new cancer-producing mutations and fashioned rational therapies for the patients who harbor these mutations.
 Research Interests
The focus of my laboratory is the identification and therapeutic exploitation of biochemical targets that distinguish malignant and normal cells. Based upon the results of metabolic studies of immunodeficiency diseases in children, my research group developed 2-chlorodeoxyadenosine [2CdA] as a lymphocyte depleting agent. 2CdA is the drug of choice for the treatment of hairy cell leukemia, inducing long term remissions in most patients. It is also effective in several other diseases associated with excessive lymphocyte proliferation. My laboratory also discovered the homozygous deletion of an enzyme in purine metabolism, methylthioadenosine phosphorylase [MTAP] in about a quarter of all cancers, and showed that the deletion also encompassed the p16INK4A tumor suppressor gene. Subsequently we developed a cancer treatment that selectively kills the enzyme deficient cancer cells, without harming most normal cells. More recently, my laboratory has identified anomalies in the xpression and function of receptors from the wnt/ frizzled, and Toll-like receptor pathways in human malignancies.

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