Research continues in north Alabama on World Cancer Day


Female scientist looking at male colleague conducting cancer research. Confident doctors are working at biosafety cabinet. They are in laboratory.

(WHNT) – Today is world cancer day. Cancer can be a scary diagnosis but thanks to new research there is more hope for patients.

Here in north Alabama, scientists are working on research to provide even more cancer treatments.

The Sara Cooper Lab, located in Huntsville, studies cancer genomics.  The lab looks at people’s DNA and how each individual’s DNA changes when they have cancer.

The goal of the lab is to find more effective cancer treatments through research.

“One of the goals that we have is to start working on some of those predictions, and we have actually been able to show in some cases that we can make better predictions about how patients are going to respond to therapies,” said Sara Cooper.

They say the next step is to bring those more accurate predictions to patients. One of the roadblocks that they run into is having an alternative when therapy doesn’t work.

The lab is also working with a for-profit company and the Rick Myers lab to find a new treatment for pancreatic cancer. So far they have discovered a number of genes were linked directly with patient survival in pancreatic cancer.

This research is something that Cooper says will take time. They initially started about 6 years ago and they say baby steps are how they will progress toward the goal of finding effective treatments for everyone.

The HudsonAlpha Institute for Biotechnology offers free genetic testing for cancer risk to people in North Alabama.

For more information, click here.