Research Prof. Mark Suckow: Fighting to cure prostate cancer

Imagine your children, your nieces, nephews, or grandchildren losing a parent to cancer. Too many experiences and dreams are ripped away due to this terrible disease. But with new, more effective cancer treatments being developed, the prognosis for cancer patients is improving little by little. 


The latest video in the University’s "What Would You Fight For?" series was shown on NBC during Saturday’s (9/21) home football game broadcast. It highlights the work of Biological Sciences Research Professor and Director of the Freimann Life Science Center Mark Suckow, who is focused on developing vaccines harvested from the tumors of individual patients. This method provides the immune system with much more comprehensive information to attack the cancer. In the video, Leilani Aldridge, a junior at Notre Dame, shares her feelings about her father’s prostate cancer diagnosis and what the prospect of improved treatment could mean to children like those she counsels at Camp Kesem in Jackson, Michigan.

Click here to watch the video.

A diagnosis of prostate cancer changes the lives of a man and his entire family. For a child, the prospect of losing a parent is frightening and very often overwhelming. For kids living with the reality of cancer in their family, Camp Kesem in Jackson, Michigan, provides a place where they can learn to address their fears and feelings. Here, they can also make a wish for a brighter future.

Dr. Suckow explains that although most cancers are complex mixtures of cells and molecules, using a patient’s own tumor can provide the immune system with comprehensive information to attack the cancer. The vaccine his team is developing could lead to a bright future for countless people. And that hope keeps the scientists at Notre Dame fighting for a cure for prostate cancer. Learn more about prostate cancer.

Dr. Suckow’s work is just one more example of how the University is making a real difference in finding new and potentially more effective treatments that could save hundreds of thousands of lives.



Originally published by Notre Dame News at on September 25, 2013.