Outreach Programs ::
HD-CTC DeepZoom Visualization Site
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FRONTIERS IN SCIENCE:A series of lectures for donors and friends by
scientists from The Scripps Research Institute on diseases, recent discoveries,
and the application of knowledge to health care.
October 29th, 2009
Frontiers in Science was featuring Dr. Peter Kuhn who presented a lecture:
“Novel Approaches to Monitoring
the Spread of Cancer Cells — Finding the Needle in the Haystack to Develop
While cancer patients are benefiting substantially from the availability of
more and more treatment choices, new approaches are needed to make treatment
decisions that are applicable to each individual patient.
Metastasis, the major cause of mortality in patients with cancer, is caused
by tumor cells that escape from the primary tumor into the bloodstream and
travel through the circulation to distant sites where they develop into
secondary tumors. The factors involved in circulating tumor cell (CTC) survival
in the blood circulation and eventual metastases are not well understood. CTCs
exist in the peripheral blood of cancer patients in low concentrations, making
their isolation and identification a difficult task. It is like both finding a
needle in a haystack and reading a book in a foreign language.
Scripps Research Associate Professor Peter Kuhn and his fellow biologists,
physicists, and clinicians have developed a reliable way to detect and to
characterize CTCs isolated from the blood of cancer patients, and are currently
involved in multiple ongoing clinical trials. The messages contained in the
cells that they are uncovering could aid physicians in better utilizing current
therapies, as well as developing specialized treatments in the future. For
details on Dr. Kuhn’s work, please visit
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In collaboration with Interknowlogy, LLC (Carlsbad, CA) and support from
Microsoft, Inc., we have developed and are further improving a
application C-ME to enable improve collaboration among scientists and
foster a process of cancer diagnosis and prognosis.
Early detection of cancer and monitoring of cancer therapy are
critical in increasing the chances of survival. The major cause of mortality in
patients with cancer is metastasis. It is caused by tumor cells that escape from
the primary tumor into the bloodstream and travel through the circulation to
distant sites where they develop into secondary tumors. Although these
circulating tumor cells (CTCs) provide a link between the primary tumor
and metastatic sites, the factors involved in circulating tumor cell survival in
the blood circulation and eventual metastases are not well understood.
CTCs exist in the peripheral blood of cancer patients in low concentrations,
making their isolation and identification a difficult task. Our laboratory has
developed a reliable way to detect and to characterize CTCs isolated from the
blood of cancer patients.
We currently have multiple on-going clinical trials aimed
to investigate the clinical utility of CTCs.
Currently biomedical research leverages a combination of disjointed
technologies to record data produced by and associated with that research. The
result is that much of the data which researchers share is stored in stand-alone
or disconnected systems. Over time the context used to discuss key concepts can
be lost and in some cases the thoughts of scientists are not captured and
The Kuhn-Stevens laboratory at The Scripps Research Institute (TSRI) is
looking to create an integrated system which brings together many different
types of data and allows researchers to collaborate on this data in such a way
that the researchers have easy access to historical data while still allowing
them to add new research, external reference data and analysis to their
project’s data store.
In collaboration with Interknowlogy, LLC (Carlsbad, CA) and
support from Microsoft, Inc., we have developed and are further improving a
software client named C-ME to enable improved collaboration among scientists.
C-ME uses the latest Microsoft technologies, Vista, Office 2007 and Sharepoint
- Scripps Cancer Center Fellowships
- High School Projects
- International Student Exchange
- Public Lectures