AUGUSTA, GA (WFXG) - A phD student and cancer biologist right here in Augusta are making breakthroughs in breast cancer research. Over the course of two years, they found a reason why successfully removing a tumor links with less patients seeing the disease spread.

The research shows that when surgeons remove the entire tumor and any extra effected cells surrounding the tumor, the body’s immune system is able to completely focus on areas of the body that the tumor was trying to spread to. On the flip side, if a surgeon misses any tissue that needs to go, those cells come back with a vengeance, often times growing larger and more aggressive with the ability to turn the body’s immune system against itself.

The next step in research is figuring out how the cancer is able to get the immune system to work for it instead of working for the body. Dr. Hasan Korkaya, Cancer Biologist at the Georgia Cancer Center, said, “What regulates those cells is still the mystery. So, we have one potential molecule that may be involved in the process, but it’s early.”

Dr. Korkaya says finding out the molecules that cause immune system cells to work for the cancer will lead to more lives being saved.

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