Wilmot Scientists Get Breast Cancer Coalition Grants to Find Cures

January 16, 2007

Kelley Madden, Ph.D.,, left, and Monica Guzman, Ph.D., flank Breast Cancer Coalition of Rochester leaders Joyce Wichie and Holly Anderson following a grant awards ceremony.

Two scientists studying causes and potential cures for breast cancer at the James P. Wilmot Cancer Center at the University of Rochester Medical Center today received $80,000 from the Breast Cancer Coalition of Rochester.

Grants were awarded to Monica Guzman, Ph.D., senior instructor of hematology/oncology, and Kelley Madden, Ph.D., research assistant professor of Biomedical Engineering.

“It’s very satisfying to partner with local organizations like the Breast Cancer Coalition of Rochester to further the study of breast cancer cures,” said Richard I. Fisher, M.D., director of the Wilmot Cancer Center and cancer care, Strong Health.

Guzman is a cancer stem cell researcher who focuses on ways to destroy these cells, which are the cells that originate cancer cells that replicate uncontrollably causing tumor growth. She has studied leukemia stem cells which are likely to be similar to breast cancer stem cells. The BCCR funding will support laboratory testing to see if a new compound, developed to combat leukemia stem cells, will also destroy breast cancer stem cells as well.

Madden will study whether there is a relationship between the body’s natural response to stress and breast cancer tumor growth. She will analyze how hormones released during stress contribute to the growth of breast tumors and ways to combat undesirable stress responses in laboratory models.

The James P. Wilmot Cancer Center is the Finger Lakes region’s leader in cancer care and research. The center is raising $42.5 million to expand its programs and construct a new state-of-the-art facility.

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