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Promising cancer tool coming out of Wilmot

Local News

ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WROC) — A partnership between a local company and the Wilmot Cancer Institute has produced a medical tool that could enhance how doctors treat cancer, specifically leukemia.

The Sanatela Matrix is a natural 3-D biomaterial that allows researchers to cultivate a patient’s leukemia cells, which, in turn, could direct medical teams to study the cells outside the body and better tailor treatment for the patient.

URMC’s Dr. Omar Aljitawi and Hani Awad, Ph.D., created the matrix and with the help of UR Ventures, they are now working with Sanatela to bring the tool to market.

Aljitawi believes the matrix will do more than provide a screening platform.

“I think this matrix will get us closer to understanding a lot of things we didn’t understand about leukemia and cancer in general,” Aljitawi said.

Erin Crowley Ellis and her father, Michael Crowley, are now working on developing a team and facility to produce the matrix here in the Rochester area.

“Like other breakthrough companies we hopefully have the ability to scale up very quickly and have a hundred plus jobs in the next 18 months,” Crowley Ellis said. News 8 will feature Aljitawi in an Adam Interview later this month.

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