SCI Hosts Symposium on Breast Cancer Research


October 16, 2013

SIU guest lecturers to discuss new breakthroughs in breast cancer research

New perspectives in breast cancer research — including a future vaccine and a postnatal pill —  will be discussed at an upcoming research conference Saturday, October 26, at Simmons Cancer Institute at Southern Illinois University School of Medicine in Springfield. 

A breast cancer vaccine may be possible in the future, according to Keith Knutson, Ph.D., from the Department of Immunology at Mayo Clinic. He will discuss recurrence and death rates among breast cancer patients. “It is believed that recurrence is due to the presence of breast cancer cells with stem cell like characteristics that are resistant to chemotherapy,” Knutson said. “Understanding the biology of breast cancer stem cells has the potential of saving 40,000 lives in the U.S. alone.”

An unexpected link found between pregnancy and aggressive forms of breast cancer may change how women are screened. Pepper Schedin, Ph.D., of the University of Colorado, Boulder, will discuss the potential of a postnatal pill to reduce the risk of breast cancer in this vulnerable population. Her laboratory researches why young women diagnosed with breast cancer are more likely to die from the disease than older women. 

The one-day symposium is titled “Microenvironmental Influences on Tumor Progression.” It will be held from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. at SIU School of Medicine, 801 N. Rutledge, Springfield.

The mission of Simmons Cancer Institute at SIU is to serve the people of central and southern Illinois by addressing their present and future cancer needs through education, research, patient care and community service. Its website is


Note to media: Reporters are invited to cover the conference. Call Cindy Davidsmeyer at 217-545-3837 or on Saturday at 217-248-3336 to arrange an interview.

Media Contacts

Ruth Slottag,
SIU, 217-545-2819

Cindy Davidsmeyer,
SCI, 217-545-3837


Phone 217-545-8000
P.O. Box 19620
Springfield, IL 62794-9620
The mission of SIU School of Medicine is to assist the citizens of central and southern Illinois in meeting their health-care needs through education, patient care, research and service to the community.


Connect on FacebookMore About SIU SOM on YouTubeSIU Blogtwitter