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Division of
Endocrine and Oncology Surgical Research

Julia C. Tchou, M.D., Ph.D.

Dr. Tchou's research is focused on tumor associated fibroblasts (TAFs) which comprise the bulk of the cellular components of the tumor microenvironment. To date, controversy remains on whether TAFs in breast cancer harbor genetic mutations that support a permissive environment for tumor growth. The lack of consensus in the data mainly stemmed from the lack of fresh tissue availability and the lack of a cell surface marker specific for TAF. My work specifically addresses these deficits. My laboratory in collaboration with several groups within the Wistar institute now has all the necessary tools to carry out an unbiased global molecular analysis of tumor associated fibroblasts in breast cancer. I will also be active as a site PI in a multicenter clinical trial “Phase II study of 3’-deoxy-3’- 8Fluorothymidine (FLT) in invasive breast cancer”. This clnical trial evaluates the use of molecular imaging as a non-invasive method to monitor treatment response in women with invasive breast cancer. My goal is to combine her efforts in bench and clinical research to develop novel breast cancer chemoprevention strategies by targeting the tumor microenvironment.



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