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Targeting triple-negative breast cancer

Around 15 to 20 per cent of breast cancer patients will have triple-negative breast cancer. It’s harder to treat and fewer therapies are available, but with his latest grant Professor Miguel del Pozo in Madrid is trying to change this.

“We now know that breast cancer is not just one single disease, but that it is many different types, and these types need different treatments,” says Professor del Pozo. “But there is no effective therapy for triple-negative breast cancer- the most aggressive type.”

Professor del Pozo is studying the tools that breast cancer cells use to communicate with their environment. His aim is to identify the mechanisms that cause this environment to ‘stiffen’ into lumps, and to discover drugs that can prevent it.

Scientists don’t know how breast cancer cells make the surrounding tissue stiffer, but they do know it helps the cancer cells to grow and spread.

“For me, this project is particularly exciting because there is some clinical data to suggest that we might already have drugs available which could reduce stiffening of surrounding breast cancer tissue and which might potentially turn out to be effective, even against triple-negative breast cancer. But first we need to study these mechanisms in detail in the lab to find out.”

See more about this project here.