Dr. Sosa is using Komen funding to look for ways to keep breast cancer cells that spread to other parts of the body (disseminated cancer cells or DCCs) “asleep” and/or to kill them before they can grow and become metastatic tumors.
DCCs can escape the primary tumor early in the disease, often before the primary tumor is even detected. Sometimes DCCs can exist in the body for long periods of time without growing or becoming invasive. In this state, they are considered dormant or “sleeping.” The biology of DCCs seems to be different from the biology of primary tumors. This means that DCCs might be targeted by different drugs than those used to treat the primary tumor, opening up new possibilities for treating or preventing metastatic breast cancer. Dr. Sosa wants to understand the biology of DCCS and find out what external signals wake up these cells and cause them to become active and invasive. She then plans to test drugs that may be able to keep these DCCs asleep and prevent metastasis.
The daughter of a breast cancer survivor, Dr. Sosa knows firsthand the realities of the disease. Her mom was diagnosed with ER+ breast cancer 18 years ago. In 2016, the cancer returned, and she received a second round of treatment. Today, her mother is doing well, but Dr. Sosa knows more needs to be done. Motivated by her mother and women everywhere facing breast cancer, Dr. Sosa is determined to make an impact in the fight against breast cancer.
Dr. Sosa's Lab: http://labs.icahn.mssm.edu/sosalab/research/
- Dr. Sosa enjoys painting (human figures and abstraction) and doing activities outdoors with her family.
- Originally from Argentina, she is also a big fan of dancing – particularly the tango.
- Her favorite writers: Jorge Luis Borges and Stephen King.
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