Quiescent cancer cells in tumorigenesis and drug resistance
The Kabraji lab uses bench-to-bedside approaches to map, track, and attack quiescent cancer cells (QCCs) that drive drug resistance and metastasis in solid tumors.
Focus: Tracking and targeting QCCs
Cancer is thought to be predominantly a disease of proliferating cells. However, we and others have found that cancer cells that stop proliferating temporarily, called quiescent cancer cells, play a critical role in the development, spread, and drug resistance of tumors.
The Kabraji lab aims to understand the role of quiescent cancer cells in cancer drug resistance, with a focus on residual disease after treatment. Our goal is to develop strategies to track and target quiescent cancer cells to improve outcomes for patients.
In addition, we aim to understand how heterogeneity within quiescent cancer cells can be targeted to improve outcomes to cancer therapy. We develop new experimental and computational approaches to integrate data from tumor models and patient samples to develop next-generation biomarkers that can predict treatment response and resistance.
Grants & awards
Susan G. Komen
- Award: 2023 Career Catalyst Research Grant
- Focus: Biomarkers of racially disparate drug response in triple negative breast cancer
Terri Brodeur Breast Cancer Foundation
- Award: 2020 Research Grant
- Focus: Potentiating anti-tumor immunity to overcome minimal residual disease in HER2-positive breast cancer
METAvivor Research and Support Inc.
- Award: 2019 Grant Award for Metastatic Breast Cancer Research
- Focus: Targeting drug-resistant quiescent cancer cells in breast cancer brain metastases