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Targeting secondary breast cancer

  • Researcher: Professor Clare Isacke
  • Institution: Institute of Cancer Research, London, England
  • Award Amount: £211,094 for 3 years from June 2015
  • Cancer Type: Breast Cancer
Targeting secondary breast cancer
Approximately 20 per cent of women with breast cancer will develop secondary breast cancer, that is, breast cancer which has spread to other parts of the body. Once secondary breast cancer develops, treatment options become more limited and the chance of survival is lower. Professor Isacke and her team want to develop new treatment strategies to help these women. They are unravelling how and why breast cancer commonly spreads to the lung, brain, bone and liver, and are also investigating what affects chemotherapy effectiveness in this type of cancer. They are particularly interested in how breast cancer cells interact with surrounding cells and tissue structures, both in the breast and at secondary sites. They will study how one particular protein, Endo180, which is found on the surface of some of the surrounding cells, may help to drive breast cancer growth and spread. Professor Isacke says “Personally I think this project is extremely exciting. We now know that cancer cells rely on a complex support system to help them evade therapies. Removing this support system provides a unique opportunity to limit cancer spread and make them more vulnerable to therapeutic attack."
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