Cancer is a disease in which a group of cells display uncontrolled growth through division beyond normal limits. It is an invasion that intrudes upon and destroys adjacent tissues, and sometimes metastasis, in which cancer cells spread to other locations in the body. Symptoms and treatment of cancer depend on the type and location of the tumor.
The Petit Institute is home to several research labs that focus on various elements of cancer biology research. Interests include basic studies in molecular biology, biochemistry, genetics, cell biology, immunology, in addition to translational research focused on problems of immediate clinical applicability.
Petit Institute researchers are taking different approaches to answer questions in cancer biology. Research labs are focused on developing innovative basic and translational studies to intensively focus on cancer research to improve the understanding of cancer biology and the development of more effective cancer treatments, such as targeted drug therapies, diagnostics and therapeutics.
The Petit Institute investigators have adapted innovative approaches and views to cancer biology questions. For example, some believe that cancer is not a defect in any particular gene or protein, but as a de-regulated cellular/inter-cellular process which requires an understanding of complex processes. Therefore, treatment will require the implementation of an experimental approach that can provide an integrative holistic or "systems" view of intra- and inter-cellular process.
In addition, other Petit Institute labs are attempting to understand the role of bone marrow-derived cells in tumor growth and metastasis. While other researchers focus on cancer prevention and treatment.