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Heide Ford at Café Sci2

“Cancer Metastasis: Is There a Way to Put the Horse Back in the Barn?”


Wednesday 28 August 2017, 6:30 PM at Brooklyn's near LoDo Denver

Bios

About the topic


 

 

Bios

Heide FordlDr. Heide Ford is a tenured professor in the Department of Pharmacology at The University of Colorado, Anschutz Medical Campus. She is the Associate Director of Basic Research for the University of Colorado Comprehensive Cancer Center, and holds the David and Margaret Turley Grohne Chair in Cancer Research.

She studied at the State University of New York at Geneseo and the University of Rochester. After completing a postdoctoral fellowship at The Dana-Farber Cancer Institute/Harvard Medical School in Boston, Dr. Ford joined the University of Colorado School of Medicine in 2001. Since then, she has been running a funded laboratory that focuses on the role of embryonic regulators in breast and pediatric tumorigenesis and metastasis. Her work spans diverse areas, from understanding the parallels between normal development and tumorigenesis and the basic molecular pathways that contribute to metastasis, to the more translational aspects of developing novel therapeutics for cancer therapy. She received The Dean’s Mentoring Award in 2010, and the Pharmacology Teaching/Mentoring award in 2013 and 2016.


About the topic

For most types of cancer, the original tumor is not what kills the patient. Instead, it is the spread of tumor cells, or metastasis, to distant areas of the body, where they grow and ultimately cause organ failure and death. Unfortunately, many patients diagnosed with cancer already have tumor cells circulating in their bloodstream, even if no “metastases” can be detected. Thus, the horse is often already out of the barn. Furthermore, since cancer cells are normal cells that have gone awry, it is hard to target just the cancer cells without affecting normal cells. That means that many cancer therapies are relatively toxic to normal cells. In this Café, we will talk about how we can better understand the later stages of metastasis. We will specifically focus on parallels between embryo development and tumor progression, and how cancer cells hijack early developmental programs to become more mobile, invasive, and malignant. Because embryos produce many proteins only during development and not when their development is complete, those proteins may be useful targets for new treatments. Those treatments could not only prevent metastasis but be less toxic to normal cells than previous treatments.

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