Dr. Mark D. Berry, PhD
Professor and Head, Department of Biochemistry
Memorial University of Newfoundland
Adjunct Professor, College of Pharmacy & Nutrition, University of Saskatchewan
Chemotherapy, toxicity, alopecia, anxiety, depression, cognitive decline, programmed cell death, anti-apoptotics
Prevention of cancer chemotherapy-induced toxicity
We study the ability of small molecules to prevent chemotherapy-induced alopecia. Hair loss is regarded as one of the most traumatic aspects of chemotherapy, particularly for female and paediatric patients. We also examine the brain changes that occur during chemotherapy. There is growing evidence that the increased prevalence of anxiety and depression in cancer patients is not simply reactive to cancer diagnosis and/or chemotherapy side effects. We have recently identified a "chemobrain" and anorectic phenotype in our model system of chemotherapy-induced alopecia. By better understanding the basis of such effects, we hope to contribute to the development of therapies to decrease side effects and improve patient prognosis and quality of life.