University of Chicago lecture series to highlight breast cancer

University of Chicago lecture series to highlight breast cancer

November 29, 2005

People in the United States spend an estimated $3.8 billion on breast cancer treatment each year--and to some avail. The death rate caused by the disease, which infects one in eight women, has declined in recent years, thanks to a combination of earlier detection and better treatment. This winter, the University of Chicago will add to the public's growing knowledge of breast cancer by explaining the genetics behind it during the annual Charles B. Huggins Lectures.

James Fackenthal, PhD, assistant professor of hematology/oncology in the department of medicine at Chicago, will present the series, titled "Breast Cancer: the Genetics of a Disease." The lectures will be held from 11 a.m. to noon every Saturday beginning January 14, 2006, at 5841 S. Maryland Avenue, room P-117.

Over the series' eight weeks, Fackenthal will discuss, among other topics, experiments that demonstrate how genetics control breast cancer cell growth. He also will talk about the technical advances that show genetic differences in patients and how physicians and researchers can tailor more specific treatment options to those patients.

The series is named after Charles B. Huggins, MD, who won the 1966 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine for research on testosterone's involvement in prostate cancer. Huggins served as the first director of the Ben May Department at Chicago.

The Saturday lecture topics are scheduled as follows:

January 14: Overview and Introduction to Cancer
January 21: Early Experiments in Genetics: The Science of Heredity
January 28: Later Experiments in Genetics: The Science of Molecular Biology
February 4: The DNA Double Helix: Structural Basis of Heredity and Molecular Biology
February 11: Gene Mutations and Cancer, Part 1: Oncogenes and Tumor Suppressor Genes Regulate Tumor Development
February 18: Gene Mutations and Cancer, Part 2: Hormone Action in Normal Cells and Breast Tumors
February 25: Genetic Studies Point the Way to Better Treatments
March 4: From Genetics to Genomics

All of the lectures are free and open to the public. For more information, call (773) 702-3940.