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The CCCR Biorepository, under the direction of Dr. David Reisman, collects biopsy specimens from patients undergoing surgery for cancer, and makes them available to researchers.  In an effort to take full advantage of the patient materials, the Biorepository has begun mutation profiling of DNA samples from colon tumors.  In concert with Selah Genomics in Greenville, SC, the project has employed their PrecisionPathTM Next-Gen DNA sequencing technology to generate profiles of over 2,000 genomic sites spanning 52 genes known to be associated with human cancer.  Preliminary analysis of the results indicates an average of 4 gene mutations per tumor.  The p53 tumor suppressor gene, known to be defective in many human cancers, was found to be mutated in 67% of the cases.  Members of the RAS and PIK3CA families of genes, important components of cell signaling, were defective in 60% and 50% of cases, respectively.  The APC gene, known to play a role in initiating colon cancer, was mutated in 33% of cases.  The characterization of colon tumor genes in this manner is import to the determination of the underlying genetic basis of these cancers, and will be of great value to researchers trying to understand how colon cancer develops and progresses.

Healing IconsCoping with a life threatening disease is extremely stressful, producing a range of intense feelings that are often difficult to express. Many times these bottled up emotions — suppressed anger, fear, loss of control and even betrayal— can often overwhelm cancer patients and their families, resulting in a toxic environment of stress. Most times words are not enough to communicate what is inside.

East Coast Visual Artist Heidi Darr-Hope of Healing Icons and West Coast Writer Dr. Sharon Bray of Writing through Cancer collaborate to hold Living Legacies, a class that brings healing and expression through art and the written word.  Living Legacies is based on the old fashioned concept of Pen Pals. This exchange links cancer survivors from different cities, states and perhaps even countries using the visual arts and creative writing to begin an extraordinary conversation about what it is like to live with cancer.

To download the brochure and register for this program, click here.

Just a year and a half after arriving at Carolina, Jan Eberth has already found success in bringing attention to places where health care disparities are the greatest. (via @UofSC Today)