2/4/2009 Cancer research topic of Linfield faculty lecture
McMINNVILLE – A Linfield College biology professor will kick off the spring semester faculty lecture series.
Anne Kruchten, assistant professor of biology, will present "Metastatic Cancer: An Invasion From Within" on Wednesday, Feb. 11, at 7:30 p.m. in 201 Riley Hall at Linfield.
Kruchten will present an overview of how cancer cells move, both normally and in cancerous conditions, drawing from the scientific literature, her work as a postdoctoral fellow at the Mayo Clinic and recent work with Linfield students.
According to the American Cancer Society, 565,650 Americans were predicted to die from cancer in 2008, totaling more than 1,500 people a day. Only heart disease kills more people in the United States. Most people who die from cancer have metastatic cancer, a condition in which cancer cells from the original tumor have spread to distant locations in the body. These spreading cancer cells disrupt the function of vital organs, such as the kidney, liver, lungs and brain, which may eventually result in death.
In order to develop treatments for metastatic cancer, scientists have been researching how cancer cells metastasize. When a cell leaves the primary tumor and moves to a distant location in the body, a number of difficult steps must occur. Importantly, a cell must develop the ability to break away from the tumor and invade through the matrix of tissue that lies between the tumor and the bloodstream. The bloodstream then serves as the main transportation highway in the body, connecting the primary tumor to distant locations where cancer cells eventually settle and form metastatic tumors. Scientists have recently made advances in understanding these processes and are turning their findings into therapies to slow the progression of many cancers.
Kruchten, a member of the Linfield faculty since 2006, holds a bachelor’s degree from Transylvania University and a Ph.D. from the University of Minnesota.
The lecture is free and open to the public. The Linfield College faculty lecture series offers one presentation each month by a member of the Linfield faculty. For more information, call 503-883-2409.