Tuesday, December 17, 2013

When My Alma Mater and Cancer Center Work Together

In July, Rutgers University, my alma mater, and The Cancer Institute of New Jersey(CINJ) where I have been treated merged. Recently, I have noticed the wonderful collaboration between the doctors/ researchers at CINJ and the professors at Rutgers.

Just the other day I read two articles about that collaboration.

In Rutgers Today, you will find the article Battling Cancer with Big Data .The article discusses doctors at CINJ collaborating with computer engineers at the Rutgers Discovery Informatics Institute to determine a better way to treat patients with rare cancers and those with poor prognosis.  Manish Parashar is Director of RDI2.

“Our team provides the computational engine to review thousands of images, so our      collaborators at the Cancer Institute can analyze these images, search the database, test hypotheses and answer important questions,”Parashar says. “We take the imaged samples and radiology studies from one patient and ask, ’Have I seen a case like this before?’”

Analyzing the data and using matching algorithms can be done in a matter of hours.The team is studying rare pediatric cancers as well as ovarian and pancreatic cancers and sarcomas. A clinical trial is ongoing.

Surviving ovarian cancer: Rutgers scientists attack drug resistant cancer cells presents the research being done by one of my Gynecologic Oncologists, Dr. Lorna Rodriguez and Tamara Minko, professor at Rutgers Ernest Mario School of Pharmacy.  CD44 is a membrane protein which when over expressed causes ovarian cancer metastasis and drug resistance. In their study, which used lab mice, the researchers found that by using small inhibiting RNA molecules to decrease the level of CD44 and the chemotherapy drug paclitaxel  they were able to cause cell death and tumor shrinkage in the mice.
Journal article:

Targeted Nanomedicine for Suppression of CD44 and Simultaneous Cell Death Induction in Ovarian Cancer: An Optimal Delivery of siRNA and Anticancer Drug

I am excited to see what the future of cancer research will look like as my Alma Mater and my cancer center continue to work together.

Every Day is a Blessing!

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