Areas of Research
- Breast Cancer
Welcome to the Lucci Laboratory. Our researchers focus on using a minimally invasive, liquid biopsy-based approach designed to detect cancer earlier, identify patients who are at high risk for disease relapse, monitor patient response throughout treatment, and identify novel targets for therapy. Since cancer cells from throughout the body release proteins, ctDNA, and exosomes into the blood, it has the potential to reveal novel, targetable markers not readily detected within primary tumor biopsy specimens as well as those acquired during treatment. By utilizing CTC, ctDNA, proteomic, and exosome information together, our researchers combine information to establish comprehensive snapshots of each cancer patient’s disease.
Triple-negative and inflammatory breast cancer research
Breast cancer is the most frequently diagnosed cancer and the leading cause of cancer deaths among women. Triple-negative (TN) and inflammatory breast cancers (IBC) are the most aggressive forms of the disease.
Many patients will not recur, but 15-20% of breast cancer patients remain at high recurrence risk.
Our lab seeks to identify which TN and IBC patients will have recurring disease, discover new targets for therapy, and develop treatments that are more effective.
Stage II-IV cutaneous and uveal melanoma research
Tumor characteristics and cancer lymph nodes are tools doctors currently use to stage patients and estimate risk of recurrence.
Despite the development of new targeted and immune therapies to treat melanoma, many patients either do not respond to these therapies, or develop resistance to therapy within a short period of time (6-8 months).
There are currently no blood tests available to help doctors accurately tell which patients are likely to relapse (and should be given therapy) and which are low risk (and should just be observed), or how a patient’s cancer cells become resistant to targeted and immune therapies.
Our research laboratory first started investigating circulating melanoma cells (CMCs) in stage II-IV melanoma patients in late 2012 and we have already obtained serial blood draws on more than 800 melanoma patients to date.