2020 Early Detection Seminar Series

Seminar & Discussion: 11:00am - 12:00pm

Reception: 12:00pm - 12:30pm

The Early Detection Seminar Series presents seminars highlighting new research in Early Cancer Detection. 
Note: This seminar does not run through the Summer months.


January 23, 2020

Beckman Center, Munzer Auditorium (B060)

Title: Strategies to Identify Aggressive Breast Cancer Biology in Black and Latina Women

Victoria L. Seewaldt, M.D.

Ruth Ziegler Professor and Chair, Department of Population Sciences City of Hope

Over 90% of breast cancer is cured; yet there remain highly aggressive breast cancers that develop rapidly and are extremely difficult to treat, much less prevent. Examples are triple-negative breast cancer in Black/African American women and luminal B breast cancers in Black/African Americans and Latinas. Breast cancers that rapidly develop between breast imaging are called “interval cancers”. Here we aim to investigate biologically aggressive precancerous breast lesions and their matched invasive breast cancers in women of diverse race and ethnicity. Our team has the unique ability to perform single cell in situ transcriptional profiling in combination with dynamic and spatial genomics/proteomics; this allows us to identify multi-dimensional spatial and temporal relationships that drive the transition from biologically aggressive pre-cancer to interval breast cancer. 


March 19, 2020

Beckman Center, Munzer Auditorium (B060)

Title: The First Cell and the Human Cost of going after Cancer’s last

Azra Raza, MD

Chan Soon-Shiong Professor of Medicine
Director, Myelodysplastic Syndrome Center
Columbia University Medical Center

Cancer will strike 1 in 2 men and 1 in 3 women. Yet, we are failing spectacularly to improve outcome for the majority of patients. Our contention is that the real solution to the cancer problem is to diagnose cancer early, at the stage of The First Cell. The footprints of early cancers, the surrogate biomarkers, need to be identified so we can detect the first cell. The rapidly evolving technologies are doing much in this area but need to be expanded. We study a pre-leukemic condition called myelodysplastic syndrome (MDS) with the hope that we can detect the first leukemia cells as the disease transforms to acute myeloid leukemia (AML). Towards this end, we have collected blood and bone marrow samples on MDS and AML patients since 1984. Today, our Tissue Repository has more than 60,000 samples. We propose novel methods to identify surrogate markers that can identify the First Cell through studying the serial samples of patients who evolve from MDS to AML.