Navigation Links
TGen breast cancer research benefits from $3.5 million Komen award
Date:9/23/2011

PHOENIX, Ariz. Sept. 23, 2011 The Translational Genomics Research Institute (TGen) is part of a team of medical investigators receiving a $3.5 million grant from Susan G. Komen for the Cure to study triple-negative breast cancer, a highly aggressive form of this cancer that disproportionately affects African-Americans.

The Komen Foundation recently called for proposals from teams of physicians and scientists called Promise Grants, multi-million dollar, multi-year, collaborative grants aimed at answering the most difficult questions in breast cancer and translating their findings into outcomes that will impact patient care.

Only three teams were selected for funding for this highly competitive program. The team leaders for this proposal are: Dr. Jeffrey Trent of Phoenix-based TGen; Dr. Pat LoRusso of the Karmonos Cancer Institute in Detroit; and Dr. Max Wicha of The University of Michigan Comprehensive Cancer Center. Other centers collaborating on this project include the Van Andel Research Institute (VARI) in Grand Rapids, which is TGen's affiliate, and the Baylor College of Medicine in Houston.

The collective expertise of these oncologists and basic scientists will be brought to bear on this landmark translational research study. Three specific biomarkers that are used to determine breast cancer treatment are missing in triple-negative breast cancer. The most successful treatment advances in breast cancer have targeted these three markers. None of these therapies are effective in triple-negative breast cancer.

"We hope to uncover new ways of treating this very aggressive form of breast cancer by understanding the molecular makeup of breast cancer stem cells," said Dr. John Carpten, Director of TGen's Integrated Cancer Genomics Division, who is leading other translational investigations into triple-negative breast cancer and is a co-investigator on the new Komen study. "Our goal is to unlock the clues as to why patients with triple-negative breast cancer so often fail to respond to available therapies, and to design new ways to more effectively treat this difficult form of cancer."

Dr. Wicha, M.D., Distinguished Professor of Oncology and Director of the U-M Comprehensive Cancer Center, was one of the first to identify cancer "stem cells" in solid tumors, recognizing them in breast cancer tissue in 2003. Cancer stem cells are the small number of cells within a tumor that continually fuel the tumor's growth and spread, rendering the tumor resistent to today's therapies. Many researchers believe traditional chemotherapy and radiation treatments often become ineffective because they do not kill the cancer stem cells, and that the key to future treatments is to develop drugs that target and kill these cells. Research suggests that triple-negative breast cancers have a higher proportion of cancer stem cells.

Among women with breast cancer, triple negative breast cancer represents about 15 percent of diagnoses in Caucasian American women, but 26 percent in African American women and up to 82 percent in west African women. The grant proposal includes studying tumor cells from African and African-American women to look for molecular differences in triple-negative tumors. Laboratory research will look at whether targeting the breast cancer stem cells has an impact on these tumors.

"Through this research study, we will be able to provide key insights into whether or not cancer stem cells plays a role in the significant differences observed in death rates among women of west African origin who are more likely to be diagnosed with, and die from, this terrible form of cancer," said Dr. Heather Cunliffe, Head of TGen's Breast & Ovarian Cancer and a co-investigator on the study.

Researchers also plan to launch at least three clinical trials to investigate new treatments that target cancer stem cells. Based on the results of these trials, a larger randomized clinical trial will be planned.

"TGen scientists lead by Dr. John Carpten have been at the forefront of cancer health disparities research for more than a decade," said Dr. Trent, President and Research Director of TGen and VARI. "This study is at the vanguard of treatments that are aimed at the most deadly form of human breast cancer in a this highly vulnerable patient population."

Joining Drs. Trent and Wicha as the third principal investigator on the grant is Dr. Patricia LoRusso, D.O., Professor of Medicine at Karmanos. Dr. LoRusso is one of the world's leading physicians in the development of new drugs for cancer patients. Her major focus over nearly 20 years has been addressing the need for new cancer treatments for women with breast cancer, especially those of African American decent.

More than 209,000 Americans will be diagnosed with breast cancer this year and more than 40,000 will die from the disease.


'/>"/>

Contact: Steve Yozwiak
syozwiak@tgen.org
602-343-8704
The Translational Genomics Research Institute
Source:Eurekalert

Related biology news :

1. Breast cancer treatment resistance linked to signaling pathway
2. The dietary supplement genistein can undermine breast cancer treatment
3. Breast cancer cells recycle to escape death by hormonal therapy
4. Second lumpectomy for breast cancer reduces survival rates
5. Study looks at psychological impact of gene test for breast cancer
6. SNM releases new fact sheet on breast cancer and molecular imaging
7. Study links nicotine with breast cancer growth and spread
8. UC Davis researchers discover a key to aggressive breast cancer
9. CTRC-AACR San Antonio Breast Cancer Symposium
10. Einstein researchers develop a new way to study how breast cancer spreads
11. Mayo researchers identify dangerous two-faced protein crucial to breast cancer spread and growth
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:8/15/2017)... Aug. 15 2017   ivWatch LLC , a medical device ... therapy, today announced receipt of its ISO 13485 Certification, the global ... International Organization for Standardization (ISO®). ... ivWatch Model 400 Continuous Monitoring device for the early detection of ... "This is an important milestone ...
(Date:6/30/2017)... 2017 Today, American Trucking Associations announced ... face and eye tracking software, became the newest ... "Artificial intelligence and advanced sensing ... a driver,s attentiveness levels while on the road.  ... detect fatigue and prevent potential accidents, which could ...
(Date:6/14/2017)...  IBM (NYSE: IBM ) is introducing several innovative ... to developing collaboration between startups and global businesses, taking place ... the event, nine startups will showcase the solutions they have ... France is one ... a 30 percent increase in the number of startups created ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:10/10/2017)... CRUZ, Calif. , Oct. 10, 2017 ... grant from the NIH to develop RealSeq®-SC (Single Cell), ... kit for profiling small RNAs (including microRNAs) from single ... Analysis Program highlights the need to accelerate development of ... "New techniques for measuring ...
(Date:10/9/2017)... 9, 2017  BioTech Holdings announced today identification ... its ProCell stem cell therapy prevents limb loss ... Company, demonstrated that treatment with ProCell resulted in ... as compared to standard bone marrow stem cell ... in reduction of therapeutic effect.  ...
(Date:10/9/2017)... ... 2017 , ... The Giving Tree Wellness Center announces the ... of consumers who are incorporating medical marijuana into their wellness and health regimens. ... operators of two successful Valley dispensaries, The Giving Tree’s two founders, Lilach Mazor ...
(Date:10/7/2017)... ... October 06, 2017 , ... ... launched its ProxiMeta™ Hi-C metagenome deconvolution product, featuring the first commercially available ... bioinformatics software to perform Hi-C metagenome deconvolution using their own facilities, supplementing ...
Breaking Biology Technology: