Story excerpt provided by Cancer Today.
Written by Chris Palmer.
As chemotherapy drugs coursed through her veins, biomedical engineer Jessica Winter tried to distract herself from her breast cancer treatment by writing grant proposals and reviewing scientific journals, part of her work leading a thriving research lab. But she kept asking herself the same question: “What am I doing with my life?”
Winter, 40, is a professor of biomedical engineering at the Ohio State University in Columbus. She specializes in creating particles 1/10,000th the width of a human hair, called quantum dots, that light up on imaging scans when they attach to cancer cells in a tissue sample. The dots appear in a variety of colors, making it easier to identify cancer types. Over the past decade, Winter has tweaked the particles to be ever more sensitive to find and attach to specific types of cancer cells. Yet the progress made in her lab left her feeling hollow inside as she was treated with Adriamycin (doxorubicin) and Cytoxan (cyclophosphamide) for her stage III breast cancer.
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Originally published January 4, 2016.