Celestial Bodies from Andrew Styan on Vimeo.

This work re-interprets images of cancer cells recorded by researcher Dr Jennette Sakoff as celestial bodies floating within a universe of galaxies and stars and was originally produced for the Body Knowledge exhibition of the Newcastle City Council street projection project, City Evolutions for display in November to December of 2014.

Dr Sakoff is a Chief Hospital Scientist in the Department of Medical Oncology at the Calvary Mater Newcastle Hospital, Director of the Medical Oncology Research Laboratory and Leader of the Experimental Therapeutics Group. The focus of her research is the development of new drugs for the treatment of breast and brain cancers. Many of these drugs are derived from natural sources while others are synthesised in the laboratory. An important first step in the drug development process is to test the ability of such drugs to prevent cancer growth in human cell lines grown in the laboratory. Through this process Dr Sakoff has discovered a group of novel compounds that show unprecedented activity against the growth of breast cancer cells while having no effect on cells from normal breast tissue or on cells from other tumour types. These drugs are up to 500-fold more effective at killing breast cancer cells compared with normal breast cells. Further studies are needed and underway to determine whether these compounds can progress into the clinic for the treatment of breast cancer.

The images show breast cancer cells that have been treated with these new compounds. The DNA in the cells is stained blue; the structural proteins are stained green; while the energy providing mitochondria are stained red.

More details on Dr Sakoff’s research can be found at http://research.calvarymater.org.au/meet-our-researchers/jennette-sakoff.html

Music credit:  Cylinder Three by Chris Zabriskie, licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike License.