Metastasis and drug resistance are the most important challenges faced by the cancer clinic. We have recently discovered that the invasive cells are resistant to the common cancer drugs. Invasive cells can potentially invade the blood and lymphatic vessels and become secondary tumors in distant organs. Classical chemotherapy targets only dividing cells. Our preliminary data indicates that the invasive cells are not dividing and are resistant to cancer drugs. The main area of research in my laboratory is the identification and characterization of potential markers for invasion and drug resistance in cancers cells. Using various animal models and unique cell separation techniques we have been successful in separating the invasive breast cancer cells from different steps of the metastatic process which are invasive, collected from blood and separated from lung metastasis. We aim to identify the molecular mechanism of the above mentioned drug resistance, and identify drugs that will be most effective in metastatic and drug resistant cancers.
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