Developing new drugs for all breast cancer patients
According to the World Health Organization, breast cancer is the most common cancer in women worldwide, killing more than 500,000 each year. However, breast cancer is very diverse depending on the genes of each patient and the expression of key receptors within their tumours.
Technological advances have allowed for the categorization of breast cancers into six types, but it is still not known which genes are essential to the growth and survival of the disease of each type. A new project funded by Action Against Cancer at the University of Sussex aims to identify these cancer drivers, using new state of the art genome engineering.
The scientists will be taking the first steps into looking for new drug targets for all of the six types of breast cancer. Which type a woman has determines if they are able to have certain targeted therapies, and has an impact on the success of their treatment and their prognosis.
Patients with triple negative breast cancer (TNBC), have one of the types that does not express any of the receptors that respond to certain therapies. Treatment for these women is based on radiotherapy and chemotherapy, which are less effective and can cause considerably more side effects.
This new project is expected to facilitate the development of targeted treatments for TNBC patients and those with BRCA gene mutations. Further to that, the research is anticipated to have a strong impact on the discovery of new drug targets for any type of breast cancer, which is especially important once resistance to treatment has occurred.
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