What makes cancer so difficult to defeat? Why do so many patients respond well to a particular treatment, only to relapse months or years later? The answer lies within the complex cellular makeup of cancerous tumors. Since cells within a tumor vary widely from one another, even if most are destroyed, at least some will survive and rebuild the tumor mass. Cancer biologist Michalina Janiszewska, PhD, assistant professor in the Department of Molecular Medicine at Scripps Research, is bringing a heightened understanding to how a tumor’s diverse cell populations interact and what causes cells with particular mutations to expand. Likening tumors to jigsaw puzzles, Janiszewska is finding patterns that were never before seen. By mapping the intricate tumor ecosystem and finding new ways to detect the most dangerous of cells, she seeks to bring about better treatments for brain cancer and other highly aggressive or treatment-resistant tumors.
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ABOUT SCRIPPS RESEARCH
Scripps Research is an independent, nonprofit biomedical institute ranked the most influential in the world for its impact on innovation. With campuses in La Jolla, California, and Jupiter, Florida, we are advancing human health through profound discoveries that address pressing medical concerns around the globe.