Navigation Links
Fighting breast cancer early, one cell at a time

BOSTON and MEDFORD/SOMERVILLE, Mass. -- A team of scientists at Tufts University will develop ultra-sensitive techniques at the single-molecule and single-cell levels designed to detect breast cancer earlier, and treat it with greater precision, through a $6.6 million Innovator Award from the Department of Defense Breast Cancer Research Program made to Tufts chemist David R. Walt, Ph.D.

The Innovator Awards provide "individuals who have a history of creativity, innovative work, and leadership with the funding and freedom to pursue their most novel, visionary, high-risk ideas that could ultimately lead to the eradication of breast cancer."

Principal Investigator Walt, who is Robinson Professor of Chemistry at Tufts' School of Arts and Sciences and a Howard Hughes Medical Institute Professor, applies micro- and nanotechnology to urgent biological problems. Technologies that have come out of his laboratory include DNA microarrays, sequencing methods, medical diagnostic methods, and basic biochemistry research. He is credited with the first documented use of the word "microarray" in the scientific literature.

Collaborating with Walt are three Tufts specialists in breast cancer: Rachel Buchsbaum, M.D., the Diane Connolly-Zaniboni Scholar in Breast Cancer Research in the Molecular Oncology Research Institute at Tufts Medical Center, associate professor at Tufts University School of Medicine, and a breast oncologist and researcher on molecular mechanisms of metastasis and the cancer microenvironment; Charlotte Kuperwasser, Ph.D., associate professor at Tufts University School of Medicine and an expert on stem cell and tissue regulation of the molecular pathways of breast cancer progression; and Gail Sonenshein, Ph.D., professor at Tufts University School of Medicine, internationally known for her work in molecular signaling mechanisms in breast cancer. Buchsbaum, Kuperwasser and Sonenshein are also program faculty at the Sackler School of Graduate Biomedical Sciences at Tufts.

In addition, University of Washington chemist Daniel T. Chiu, Ph.D., a leader in microfluidics, will collaborate with the team.

Uncovering Biomarkers That Diagnose and Predict More Accurately

"While great progress has been made in early breast cancer detection and treatment, current methods cannot always determine if a tumor has metastasized or accurately characterize its cellular diversity. Nor do we understand how to distinguish those early breast cancers that are potentially lethal from breast cancers that are unlikely to recur or spread after initial treatment," said Buchsbaum.

The research team will use Walt's single-molecule techniques to uncover new biomarkers in the blood that they hope will have the specificity needed to accurately screen for breast cancer and to diagnose and predict the outcome of breast cancer. They will also characterize breast cancer biopsy samples with single-cell resolution to discover the nature of these complex cell populations so that more precise therapies can be devised.

"Our hope is to detect cancer-relevant biomarkers that would enable breast cancer screening to convert from mammography to a simple blood test," said Walt. "Identification of such biomarkers would represent a major clinical advance."

"By developing more sensitive and biologically precise tools for detecting breast cancer, patients can be diagnosed earlier in the disease process and the tumors better characterized. We hope this research will translate to more targeted therapeutic approaches, with higher efficacy and fewer side effects," said Sonenshein.

Contact: Kim Thurler
Tufts University

Related medicine news :

1. 29 Clear Channel stations Nationwide Raise Nearly $2.8 Million to Help Save the Lives of Kids Fighting Cancer and Other Deadly Diseases
2. New Cancer-Fighting Strategy Focuses On Signaling Molecules
3. Families Fighting Flu Commends the CDCs Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices Recommendation for Universal Influenza Vaccination
4. New testing method hints at garlics cancer-fighting potential
5. Citizens Constitutional Congress Formed To Resist White House Takeover Of American Healthcare System 'Free Citizens Fighting To Keep America Free'
6. Honolulu, Hawaii Bariatric Surgery Practice Launches New Website to Reach Out to Patients Fighting Morbid Obesity
7. Childrens sense of threat from parental fighting determines trauma symptoms
8. Author Erin Morrow Still Releases "Fighting MS: Strength in Numbers"
9. Tapping into sorghums weed-fighting capabilities to give growers more options
10. Fighting Off the Freshman Fifteen
11. UCLA scientists create army of tumor-fighting immune cells and watch as they attack cancer
Post Your Comments:
(Date:6/27/2016)... ... June 27, 2016 , ... ... announced its strategic partnership with Connance, a healthcare industry leader providing predictive ... proven, proprietary technology combine to provide health systems, hospitals and ambulatory surgical ...
(Date:6/26/2016)... ... June 27, 2016 , ... Quality metrics are proliferating in ... ways they remain in the eye of the beholder, according to experts who offered ... The American Journal of Managed Care. For the full issue, click here . ...
(Date:6/26/2016)... ... 2016 , ... PawPaws brand pet supplements owned by Whole Health ... the health of felines. The formula is all-natural and is made from Chinese herbs ... Cat Kidney Support Supplement Soft Chews are Astragalus Root Extract and Rehmannia ...
(Date:6/25/2016)... Washington, D.C. (PRWEB) , ... June 25, 2016 ... ... will discuss health policy issues and applications at AcademyHealth’s Annual Research Meeting June ... share their work on several important health care topics including advance care planning, ...
(Date:6/25/2016)... ... ... "With 30 hand-drawn hand gesture animations, FCPX users can easily customize each ... Film Studios. , ProHand Cartoon’s package transforms over 1,300 hand-drawn pictures into hand ... select a ProHand generator and drag it above media or text in the Final ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:6/26/2016)... DUBLIN , June 27, 2016 Jazz ... the waiting period under the Hart-Scott-Rodino Antitrust Improvements Act ... proposed acquisition of Celator Pharmaceuticals, Inc. ("Celator"; Nasdaq: ... 11:59 p.m. (Eastern Daylight Time). As previously ... entered into a definitive merger agreement under which Jazz ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... CHAPEL HILL, N.C. , June 24, 2016 ... in healthcare decisions and regulators/payers have placed more ... this new environment, patient support programs in the ... support for patients, medications. Consequently, pharmaceutical companies are ... to ensure they are providing products and services ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... , June 24, 2016   Bay Area ... Network,s Dean Center for Tick Borne Illness ... and Rehabilitation, MIT Hacking Medicine, University of California, ... today announced the five finalists of Lyme ... disease.  More than 100 scientists, clinicians, researchers, entrepreneurs, ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: