National advancements in breast cancer research brought to the U

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John Condeelis, professor and co-chairman of the department of anatomy and structural biology at Yeshiva University’s Albert Einstein College of Medicine in New York, came to the U on Wednesday, Nov. 2 to share new advancements and discoveries that his department has made in breast cancer.

His studies focused primarily on finding and testing an invasion signature for mammary tumors.

Condeelis was invited to the U because of his extensive research in the oncology field.

He and his colleagues discovered that it is “now possible to isolate invasive tumor cells,” Condeelis said, “and the cells have shown us that they are very special, that they won’t die and that you can’t kill them with chemotherapy.”

This means that in treating invasive tumors, doctors should no longer try treating the actual cells, but should instead focus on the macrophages within the tumor.

Condeelis and his team found these results by putting human mammary cells into mice and looking at the change in the cells using the drug Cofilin. They also have a patient trial to test the effects on humans. Pathologists can see the extremely good or bad cells in invasive tumors, but the vast majority, the middle 80 percent, is less clear, Condeelis said.

“We are hoping that this antibody panel will allow us to sort the patients in that 80 percent so they can get proper treatment,” he said.

Condeelis’ results were presented at the Huntsman Cancer Institute’s Director’s Series seminar, which features a monthly guest speaker who specializes in a different field of oncology.

The series is meant to familiarize the cancer institute’s faculty and patients, along with the general public, with new advancements in oncology and cancer treatments.

Morgan Ratcliffe