Photo courtesy of Courtney Colvin, University of Illinois.
In March, the Patient Brigade had it’s first meeting of the year. The brigade had the opportunity to get an introduction to cancer research from someone on the frontlines of that research. Dr. Jan Kitajewski is the associate director of Basic Science at the UI Cancer Center. Dr. K, as many students call him, gave us the highlights of his innovative breast cancer research. One of the main areas of his studies focuses on finding treatments that block cancer cell growth by impending the blood vessels that feed cancer cells. His latest project should be of interest to African Americans because the Duffy gene he is studying is found in two-thirds of the African American community. In the Duffy Project, Dr. Kitajewski’s lab is examining whether a Duffy mutation harms or helps cancer cells. This could help in the discovery of a different cancer treatment. Dr. K promised another visit to talk about the Duffy Project.