The AACR-Bristol-Myers Squibb Oncology Fellowship in Clinical Cancer Research is open to postdoctoral and clinical research fellows working at an academic, medical or research institution who will be in the first five years of their postdoctoral training at the start of the grant term. Proposed research projects may be in any area of clinical and/or translational cancer research.
Antonio Giordano, M.D., Ph.D.
Visiting Scientist, The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, Houston, TX
Single-Cell Sequencing to Investigate the Origin and Lineage of Circulating Tumor Cells in Breast Cancer Patients
“So far, much of what is known of circulating tumor cells (CTCs) in metastatic breast cancer patients is that they can be enumerated and that they have prognostic value. Although CTCs provide a link between the primary tumor and metastatic sites, little is known of the factors that contribute to the survival of CTCs in the peripheral circulation and those that facilitate metastasis. In our research plan, we will sequence single-nuclei from CTCs to characterize genomic copy number aberrations among these cells in breast cancer patients.
"Our research plan will be to sequence single-cells from the primary tumor, the metastatic site, and CTCs from the peripheral blood of breast cancer patients. By profiling tumor cells from each of these tissues, we hope to trace the evolutionary lineage and determine the pathways of progression and site of origin. Furthermore, by multiplexing and profiling single-cells from the different niches of the patient’s tumor, it will be possible to develop a more comprehensive overview of the genomic diversity in a tumor before and after treatment and provide a rationale for clinicians to select the most appropriate treatment.
"I am honored to receive the AACR-Bristol Myers Squibb Oncology Fellowship in Clinical Cancer Research as it provides the opportunity to extend my research tenure at the MD Anderson Cancer Center and enables me to further improve my skills in clinical and laboratory research. At MD Anderson, I am a mentee of Dr. James M. Reuben and studying the biology and clinical relevance of circulating tumor cells and cancer-initiating stem cells in breast cancer. This project will be the milestone of my research on circulating tumor cells as a measure of micrometastasis in breast cancer.”
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