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Bruce Horten, Renowned Cancer Scientist, Addresses Students in Video Conference
November 8, 2012
by Mike Davids,
Director of Marketing
|Dr. Horten via video conference (left) with students, Dr.
Bill Kline (lower rt.)
and Dr. Phil Cornwell (far rt.)
Dr. Bruce Horten, M.D., the National Medical Director for
Genzyme Genetics and one of the world's leading experts in
classifying and targeting specific cancers, discussed with
Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology students the recent
developments in cancer diagnosis and predictive treatment during a
recent interactive Internet video conference.
Using a new technology, nicknamed FISH (Fluorescent in Situ
Hybridization), cancer researchers today are able to literally
"fish" for chromosomal abnormalities-deletions in DNA that can
"By studying these abnormalities," says Dr. Horten, "we have
also become more adept at identifying the specific form of cancer
and targeting a drug that is disease specific in order to weaken
the cancer without also weakening the health of the individual
Ever since the complete mapping of the human genome was
completed in 2003, the science of pathogenetics, which investigates
the genetic variations underlying tumor development and
progression, has progressed from simple classification of cancers
to predictive analysis and therapy.
Horten says: "In the 21st century the entire approach to cancer
therapy has changed, especially the cancer drugs, from poisoning
the patient, with the hope that you will poison the cancer more
than the patient, to finding drugs that are relatively harmless to
the patient, but toxic to the cancer."
Bill Kline, PhD., Rose-Hulman's Dean of Innovation and
Engagement, adds, "Engineers are becoming ever more important in
the field of medicine. Biotechnologists, computer and software
engineers, and chemical engineers are just a few of the specialties
involved in helping medical doctors make these astounding
This special teleconference for Rose-Hulman students and faculty
was a preview of an upcoming campus visit that Dr. Horten will make
on November 29. He will visit with professors and students, and
deliver an evening public lecture in the Hatfield Hall Theater.