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Understanding exactly how invasive breast cancer cells break free

  • Researcher: Dr Philippe Chavrier
  • Institution: Institute Curie, Paris, France
  • Award Amount: £187,350 for 3 years from 1 September 2016
  • Cancer Type: Breast Cancer
Understanding exactly how invasive breast cancer cells break free
Dr Chavrier is working to understand how invasive breast cancer spreads around the body.

Breast cancer which has developed the ability to spread away from the original tumour is much more difficult to treat, and outlook for the patient is worse. But before they can develop new treatments targeting invasive breast cancer, scientists need to understand how breast cancer cells break away in the first place.

Dr Chavrier and his team already know that a specific cell protein on the surface of invasive breast cancer cells can perforate surrounding cell layers and form ‘tunnels’- helping the cancer cell escape away to other parts of the body. And they recently found that it is the nucleus- the cell command centre- which gives the order for the protein to act.

In this project the researchers will now investigate exactly how and why the nucleus makes this command, and what other proteins are involved in helping invasive breast cancer cells break free.

“We believe that this work will help inform development of future breast cancer treatments, and will ultimately help breast cancer patients” says Dr Chavrier.
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