The Katz Colloquium is a periodic exchange of ideas organized by Dr. Kun Ho Kim, assistant professor of economics at the Katz School of Science and Health. The purpose of the colloquium, said Dr. Kim, is to provide a place where people can learn about some of the exciting and innovative work being done by YU faculty and students.
On Wednesday, Feb. 26, 2020, Dr. Sumanta Goswami, associate professor and chair of biology at Yeshiva College, spoke about “Personalized Cancer Diagnosis: From Bench to Clinic.” His presentation explored the progress his lab has made over the past decade to create what he called “personalized cancer therapy” because, as he pointed out, “there is probably no ‘silver bullet’ for cancer, and the ‘one size fits all’ type of treatment is not effective.”
What he has been able to do is discover in rodent models of mammary cancer unique biomarkers and micro-anatomical structures that have been successful in predicting aggressive breast cancers. By using fine-needle biopsy samples, “we can now we can now predict potential efficacy of different pre-surgery chemotherapy agents in breast cancer patients and upon initiation we can rapidly identify therapy progress. This will save a large number of failed therapies and thereby patient mortality and morbidity.”
This fine-needle method can also be used with patients suffering from lung and thyroid malignancies, but because of their biological structures, it’s more difficult to enough material for diagnosis and treatment and “a significant number of patients are currently deprived of the modern developments in molecular diagnostics.”
However, his lab has devised novel strategies to perform molecular diagnostic techniques on tiny samples. Successfully tested on rodent models and tissue samples, “these tests are currently in various stages of clinical trials on their way to become standard of care.”
He said, “My dream is to come up with a variety of tests so that you can come up with an individualized therapeutic plan within days, if not hours, of analyzing the material retrieved from a fine-needle biopsy.”