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Letter of Hope from the Gertz Lab

Gertz Lab members wear pink
Members of the Gertz Lab participate in Pack the Park Pink at the Salt Lake Bees game.

Dear Patients,

Thank you for inspiring us to find cures and gain a better understanding of cancer.

The Gertz Lab is a research group of eight scientists led by Jay Gertz, PhD, in the Primary Children’s and Families’ Cancer Research Center at Huntsman Cancer Institute (HCI). We are hard at work studying breast cancer and uterine cancer with the goal of finding new treatments and figuring out how these cancers form.

A lot of our research focuses on estrogen receptor (ER), a protein in female reproductive cells and some cancer cells. ER helps breast and uterine cancer grow. Anti-estrogen treatments, which block ER, usually help patients beat the disease. But sometimes ER can undergo changes that make the cancer cells resist these treatments. We were recently awarded a grant from the Department of Defense Breast Cancer Research Program to study these mutations and identify promising therapies for patients with ER mutations. In collaboration with other terrific research labs, we hope that our study leads to new drugs for women with hard-to-treat breast and uterine cancer.

Like so many people, members of our lab have been personally affected by cancer. We understand the fear and uncertainty that come with a diagnosis as well as the challenging treatments that follow. Jay’s parents have both been diagnosed with cancer, and his mom has been diagnosed with breast cancer three separate times. It is patients like you, your loved ones, and Jay’s parents who keep us motivated and excited to find ways to help in the fight against this terrible disease. We appreciate everything you do as patients—like donating samples and participating in clinical trials—and we want you to know that we are doing everything we can to help patients with breast and uterine cancer.

Thank you,
The Gertz Lab

Gertz Lab members build a box castle at Primary Children's
The Gertz Lab believes in teamwork and a work hard, play hard attitude. On the weekend they moved to the new Primary Children's and Families' Cancer Research Center, they built this castle from leftover moving boxes.