Researchers at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine are studying what causes breast cancer to spread to other body parts.
Montefiore Medical Center is applying the findings to its own study to help improve treatment for breast cancer patients.
News 12 spoke with Sandra Cruz, 52, who was diagnosed with the disease in June. She had surgery to remove two tumors from her left breast. It was shortly after her surgery when she learned of a clinical trial at Montefiore that is examining the spread of breast cancer in women who are in various stages of the disease.
Cruz says she participated in the trial to help in the fight against cancer.
“Participating and seeing technology can help me in the near future and my two daughters who may or may not have to face the same situation,” she said.
The data was first researched on mice to study the specific doorways found in cancer cells that increases the likelihood of the disease invading other organs.
A specialized MRI is used to identify the presence of those doorways. Dr. Jesus Anampa says the goal of the study is to improve the treatment and to identify those who may have a higher risk of cancer spreading to other parts of the body.
Cruz is waiting for the results of tests to see if she will have to go through chemotherapy and is remaining positive.
Researchers say they are focusing on women of color who have a higher risk of developing more aggressive forms of cancers.