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Team at CNSE and Einstein receive grant to develop world's smallest cancer detection device

(ALBANY/BRONX, NY) Researchers at the College of Nanoscale Science and Engineering ("CNSE") of the University at Albany and Albert Einstein College of Medicine of Yeshiva University will collaborate on a $2 million grant from the National Cancer Institute to study tumor "microenvironments," where tumors interact with surrounding tissues, cells and chemicals in ways that all too often encourage cancer cells to invade other areas of the body in the process known as metastasis.

With the new NCI grant, researchers at CNSE, led by Dr. James Castracane, professor and head of the Biosciences Constellation, will team up with their Einstein colleagues to develop a next-generation microchip that, when placed in a cancerous mass, can gather information on the presence of metastatic cells that would demand more aggressive cancer therapy.

"By integrating cutting-edge science and engineering at the nanoscale level with vital biomedical research, it is our intent to provide deeper understanding of the causes of cancer metastasis and migration knowledge that is of critical importance in the treatment and, ultimately, prevention of cancer," said Castracane.

"The NCI has placed a very high priority on understanding the 'dialogue' in tumor microenvironments that appears crucial for causing cancers to spread," said Dr. John Condeelis, co-chair of anatomy and structural biology at Einstein. "This five-year Tumor Microenvironment Network grant will allow Einstein to influence the way research is carried out in this emerging and important field."

Dr. Condeelis is the principal investigator of the newly funded program; Dr. Castracane is serving as co-principal investigator.

Dr. Condeelis has used the multiphoton confocal microscope to directly observe cellular interactions in the tumor microenvironment of live animal models of breast cancer. By placing an artificial blood vessel near tumors, he was able to collect motile cancer cells for st
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Contact: Stephen Janack
sjanack@uamail.albany.edu
518-956-7322
Albany NanoTech College of Nanoscale Science and Engineering
20-Nov-2006


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