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07-06-2017

Clarkson University Ph.D. Candidate Presents Breast Cancer Research at National Conference

Early detection of breast cancer is important for successful treatment and long-term survival, but current screening methods such as mammography are not well-suited for young women.

Roshanak AslebaghTo address this gap, researchers at Clarkson University and the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, are investigating biochemical signatures of breast cancer that are detectable in breastmilk.

Clarkson chemistry Ph.D. candidate Roshanak Aslebagh of Tehran, Iran, presented this research at the American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology annual meeting this spring in Chicago, Ill.

Comparing breastmilk samples from women with breast cancer, women without breast cancer and women who were later diagnosed with breast cancer, the team identified alterations in protein expression in breastmilk when a woman has -- or will soon develop -- breast cancer, which might be due to cancer risk or development. After further validation, the method could offer a new, noninvasive approach to breast cancer screening for women in their childbearing years.

Aslebagh researches breast cancer biomarkers with the goal of being able to diagnose and treat the disease earlier and improve the prognosis. Working in Associate Professor of Chemistry & Biomolecular Science Costel C. Darie's Biochemistry and Proteomics Lab, she uses mass spectrometry and proteomics to analyze human breastmilk and identify potential protein biomarkers for cancer.  

Clarkson University educates the leaders of the global economy. One in five alumni already leads as an owner, CEO, VP or equivalent senior executive of a company. With its main campus located in Potsdam, N.Y., and additional graduate program and research facilities in the Capital Region and Beacon, New York, Clarkson is a nationally recognized research university with signature areas of academic excellence and research directed toward the world's pressing issues. Through more than 50 rigorous programs of study in engineering, business, arts, education, sciences and the health professions, the entire learning-living community spans boundaries across disciplines, nations and cultures to build powers of observation, challenge the status quo, and connect discovery and innovation with enterprise.

[Photographs for media use is available at http://www.clarkson.edu/news/photos/raslebagh-lab.jpg .]

[News directors and editors: For more information, contact Kelly Chezum, VP for External Relations, at 315-268-4483 or kchezum@clarkson.edu.]

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