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World's smallest cancer detection device

Researchers at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine of Yeshiva University have received a $2 million grant from the National Cancer Institute to study tumor "microenvironments" --where tumors interact with surrounding tissues, cells and chemicals in ways that all too often encourage cancer cells to invade other areas of the body in the process known as metastasis.

With the new NCI grant, Dr. John Condeelis, co-chair of anatomy and structural biology at Einstein and the principal investigator of the newly funded program, and his Einstein colleagues will team up with researchers at the College of Nanoscale Science and Engineering (CNSE) of the University at Albany to develop a next-generation microchip that, when placed in a cancerous mass, can gather information on the presence of metastatic cells that would demand more aggressive cancer therapy.

"The NCI has placed a very high priority on understanding the 'dialogue' in tumor microenvironments that appears crucial for causing cancers to spread," says Dr. Condeelis. "This five-year Tumor Microenvironment Network grant will allow Einstein to influence the way research is carried out in this emerging and important field."

Dr. James Castracane, the project's co-investigator, who is head of the Nanobiosciences Constellation at CNSE, said, "By integrating cutting-edge science and engineering at the nanoscale level with vital biomedical research, it is our intent to provide deeper understanding of the causes of cancer metastasis and migration ? knowledge that is of critical importance in the treatment and, ultimately, prevention of cancer."

Dr. Condeelis has used the multiphoton confocal microscope to directly observe cellular interactions in the tumor microenvironment of live animal models of breast cancer. By placing an artificial blood vessel near tumors, he was able to collect motile cancer cells for study and to predict--by the presence or absence of certain signaling molecules--
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Source:Albert Einstein College of Medicine


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