Welcome to the Cantor Lab website, where we share our research projects, ideas, photos, and stories.

We focus on DNA repair and how its loss or dysregulation contributes to hereditary breast/ovarian cancer and the rare cancer syndrome Fanconi Anemia (FA) that manifests in children.

 

What's wrong with Fanconia anemia cells?
Fanconi anemia (FA) patients have distinct manifestations and severity of diseases (ranging from congenital abnormalities, bone marrow failure, and cancer). However, cells from FA patients share an inability to recover from replication stress. A key question Is what is wrong and can FA cell defects be suppressed to improve the health of FA patients.

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How do DNA repair defective cancers become resistant to chemotherapy?
Hereditary cancers with BRCA mutations and defects in DNA repair are initially sensitive to chemotherapies such as cisplatin, which induces DNA damage.  However, cisplatin resistance can develop.  One mechanism of resistance includes secondary mutations that reinstate the function of the BRCA gene in DNA repair.  Recently, we found another way resistance occurs. Featured in UMassMed Now

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Does the hereditary breast/ovarian cancer gene, FANCJ, prevent or cause cancer?

Over 250 mutations occur in the hereditary breast and ovarian cancer gene, FANCJ (also known as BRIP1/BACH1).  However, it is not known how or if a disease-associated DNA mutation alters FANCJ function. Moreover, some helicase domain mutations inactivate its DNA unwinding activity while others over-activate it.  Further suggesting that too much FANCJ activity could be oncogenic, FANCJ is also amplified in some cancers.  Thus, for effective cancer therapy, It will be critical to determine how FANCJ clinical mutations are pathogenic.

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News and Events
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August 2018: Cantor lab welcomes Matt Bere
July 2018: Cesar Bautista Sotelo joins Cantor lab for rotation
July 2018: Welcome summer Bancroft student Sam Bond
March 2018: Cantor lab to present at the 2018 DNA Damage, Mutation and Cancer, Gordon Research Conference Ventura, CA
December 2017: Welcome Mihir Doshi for a winter roation
September 2017: Sumeet Nayak and Ke Cong present posters at CSHL eukaryotic replication meeting
August 2017: Michelle Mosqueda joins lab for rotation
February 2017: Congratulations to Sumeet Nayak recently nominated by the Genetic Society of America (GSA) to be co-chair of the Communication and Scientific Outreach subcommittee
January 2017: Nick Panzarino selected to be the teaching assistant for Cancer Biology class

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