Cancer Early Detection Seminar Series - Azra Raza, MD @ Venue coming soon!
October 12, 2021 @ 11:00 am – 12:00 pm
Venue coming soon!
Ashley Williams

CEDSS: The First Cell: A new model for cancer research and treatment

Azra Raza, M.D.
Chan Soon-Shiong Professor of Medicine
Director, Myelodysplastic Syndrome Center
Columbia University Medical Center


Location: Zoom
Meeting URL:
Dial: US: +1 650 724 9799  or +1 833 302 1536 (Toll Free)
Meeting ID: 993 4034 5860
Passcode: 711508




Cancer research continues to be predicated on a 1970’s model of research and treatment. Despite half a century of intense research, we are failing spectacularly to improve the outcome for patients with advanced disease. Those who are cured continue to be treated mostly with the older strategies (surgery-chemo-radiation). Our contention is that the real solution to the cancer problem is to diagnose cancer early, at the stage of The First Cell. The rapidly evolving technologies are doing much in this area but need to be expanded. We study a pre-leukemic condition called myelodysplastic syndrome (MDS) with the hope that we can detect the first leukemia cells as the disease transforms to acute myeloid leukemia (AML). Towards this end, we have collected blood and bone marrow samples on MDS and AML patients since 1984. Today, our Tissue Repository has more than 60,000 samples. We propose novel methods to identify surrogate markers that can identify the First Cell through studying the serial samples of patients who evolve from MDS to AML.



Dr. Raza is a Professor of Medicine and Director of the MDS Center at Columbia University in New York, NY.She started her research in Myelodisplastic Syndromes (MDS) in 1982 and moved to Rush University, Chicago, Illinois in 1992, where she was the Charles Arthur Weaver Professor in Oncology and Director, Division of Myeloid Diseases. The MDS Program, along with a Tissue Repository containing more than 50,000 samples from MDS and acute leukemia patients was successfully relocated to the University of Massachusetts in 2004 and to Columbia University in 2010.

Before moving to New York, Dr. Raza was the Chief of Hematology Oncology and the Gladys Smith Martin Professor of Oncology at the University of Massachussetts in Worcester. She has published the results of her laboratory research and clinical trials in prestigious, peer reviewed journals such as The New England Journal of Medicine, Nature, Blood, Cancer, Cancer Research, British Journal of Hematology, Leukemia, and Leukemia Research. Dr. Raza serves on numerous national and international panels as a reviewer, consultant and advisor and is the recipient of a number of awards.


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Stanford University – School of Medicine