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Taking a new approach to studying how breast cancer spreads

  • Researcher: Dr Eran Andrechek
  • Institution: Michigan State University, East Lansing, USA
  • Award Amount: £199,124 for 3 years from June 2014
  • Cancer Type: Breast Cancer
Taking a new approach to studying how breast cancer spreads
Our funding is helping Dr Andrechek and his team take a new approach to understanding how breast cancer spreads. If breast cancer remains only in the breast, then the patient has a very good chance of successful treatment. However when advanced breast cancer moves to other tissues, such as the brain, bone and lungs, it becomes very hard to treat. Scientists are still trying to understand why some cancers spread and others do not. Based on earlier computer predictions, Dr Andrechek and his team have developed a unique mouse model which lacks molecules called E2F transcription factors. These mice still develop breast cancer, but importantly, the cancer does not spread to other parts of the body. E2F transcription factor molecules can modulate many other genes in cancer cells, so Dr Andrechek now has a robust system to fully investigate exactly which genes drive breast cancer spread. Our funding will help him do this. He hopes that this experimental approach will identify new ways to block the spread of breast cancer.
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