Monday, June 13, 2011

Live,Laugh, Learn at CINJ's Survivors Day Celebration

Yesterday I attended the Cancer Institute of New Jersey's (CINJ) Survivor Day celebration called Live,Laugh, Learn. I did Learn at the sessions on Vitamins, Minerals &Herbs and Relax to the Max. And I did Laugh as Bruce Feiler, cancer survivor and author of The Council of Dads told his story at lunch . Live, well I would change that word to Hope. Let me explain.

One of the sessions I signed up for was called "Under the Hood". It was a laboratory tour and presentation by two researchers at CINJ.
One lab we toured was that of Kathleen Scotto, PhD. Her research focuses on agents that target the genes on the surface of tumor cells that cause drug resistance. She is working with cell lines from Henrietta Lacks ( The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks,) known as HeLa cells. HeLa cells have a unique trait that allows them to be grown in the lab. And that is just what has been taking place since the mid-1950's. HeLa cells were used by Jonas Salk to develop the polio vaccine. I was thrilled that Dr Scott allowed us use a microscope in her lab to see these cells.

The other lab we toured was that of Hatem Sabaawy, MD,PhD. He is using Zebrafish to study the genes mutations that develop in blood cancers and prostate cancer. Zebrafish grow in a matter of days so results are quicker than studies done using mice. He also is raising "Casper" zebrafish that stay transparent to better see tumor growth when it occurs. There are about a dozen or so Zebrafish labs in the entire country completing these types of studies. And here is one at CINJ.

So I think this session was a session of Hope - hope for the future-right here in my backyard.

Every Day is a Blessing!

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Could use hope now. Thanks for the interesting post..... Denise