These researchers have dedicated their careers to finding new treatments and cures for people with cancer.
“As a doctor and scientist, my biggest motivation is extending and improving quality of life—and doing so in a way that is accessible to every patient,” shared Dr. McKenzie.
Dr. McKenzie works to make standard treatments for cervical cancer more effective. Building on findings from previous research, Dr. McKenzie and her team studied what happens when nelfinavir—an HIV therapy—is added to the standard treatment (chemotherapy and radiation) for locally advanced cervical cancer.
“I was funded to initiate a phase I clinical trial to repurpose an old drug for cancer use,” she explained. “And there was certainly enough preliminary data that justified its use for cancer and for HPV-related cancers.”
In 2021, the results of her phase 1 trial published in a medical journal show that nelfinavir makes cervical cancer cells more vulnerable to radiation treatment. Dr. McKenzie’s work brings hope for patients with cervical cancer that better treatments and better outcomes could be right around the corner.
As breast cancer survivor and the daughter of a cancer survivor, Dr. McKenzie brings a unique perspective to the patients she treats, her scientific research, and Conquer Cancer’s mission. She also thoroughly understands the importance of funding new ideas by the world’s rising cancer researchers.
“The diversity in the applicant pool provides a richness of thought that would otherwise be missed if we didn’t concentrate on funding young researchers,” Dr. McKenzie said. “If we don’t give them the opportunity, we won’t be able to make breakthroughs as quickly.”
Listen to this Your Stories podcast to learn more about Dr. McKenzie and her work.
Watch this video to meet some of the patients Dr. McKenzie is helping.