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Camila dos Santos, PhD
Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory
Cold Spring Harbor, New York
American Association for Cancer Research
- Seeking preventive strategies by better understanding the biology of the risk-reducing effects of pregnancy.
- Laboratory studies are conducted to study the effects of pregnancy on the immune environment of the breast.
- These studies will address important questions that could lead to targeted non-hormonal preventive strategies.
Studies have shown that women who have their first child before age 25 have a reduced risk of developing breast cancer later in life. Dr. dos Santos is conducting laboratory studies to better understand the cancer risk-reduction effect of pregnancy at a young age in hopes of informing new preventive strategies for women of any age.
Full Research Summary
One in eight women in the U.S. will develop breast cancer over the course of her lifetime. While deaths due to breast cancer have declined dramatically due to the success of early detection strategies and systemic therapies, the number of new breast cancer cases each year has remained stable for decades.
Several lifestyle factors can modify the risk of breast cancer including an early age of first pregnancy, which can reduce the risk of breast cancer by 30 percent. The effects of pregnancy on reducing breast cancer risk is present in multiple mammalian species and confers a long-lasting cancer protection. However, we know little about how the preventive effect of pregnancy works.
The goal of Dr. dos Santos’ American Association of Cancer Research study supported by BCRF is to investigate how pregnancy-induced changes block cancer progression and alter the immune environment in the breast. She is conducting laboratory studies to identify the molecular factors at play in the hopes of eventually developing pharmacologic methods to mimic the risk reducing effect of pregnancy.
Her ultimate goal is to devise preventive strategies and potentially reduces breast cancer occurrence.
Dr. Camila Oresco dos Santos is an Assistant Professor in the Cancer Center at Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory (CSHL), New York. She received MS degree in Molecular and Cellular Biology and was awarded a PhD in Molecular and Cell Biology at State University of Campinas, Brazil. She completed her postdoctoral training at CSHL where she studied and developed improved methodology to isolate mammary gland stem cells (MaSCs). At CSHL, Dr. dos Santos received many awards and published several first author papers in high impact journals. In 2015, she was recruited as an Assistant Professor at CSHL. Her lab focuses on understanding how pregnancy-induced molecular changes play critical role in preventing breast cancer.