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New therapies for triple-negative breast cancer

  • Researcher: Professor Miguel del Pozo
  • Institution: CNIC, Madrid, Spain
  • Award Amount: £197,661 for 3 years from January 2015
  • Cancer Type: Breast Cancer
New therapies for triple-negative breast cancer
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’, 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. Professor del Pozo believes that understanding this could be the key to discovering drugs which prevent the surrounding tissue from stiffening and stop breast cancer from progressing. He is especially hopeful this approach could help the 15 to 20 per cent of breast cancer patients with triple-negative breast cancer. “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.” “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.”
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