Studying how PRMT5 helps breast cancer stem cells survive

Dr Clare Davies

Project details

Researcher: Dr Clare Davies

Location: University of Birmingham

Project title: Studying how PRMT5 helps breast cancer stem cells survive

Key area: Treatment

The challenge

Breast cancer stem cells are a rare group of cells inside breast tumours, which can help breast cancer to become resistant to drugs and return after treatment. We need to understand more about breast cancer stem cells in order to make treatments more effective and improve the chances of survival for people with breast cancer.

Project description

In a previous project funded by Breast Cancer Now, Dr Clare Davies has found that a molecule called PRMT5 is essential for breast cancer stem cells to survive and multiply. In this project, Dr Davies will investigate further how PRMT5 helps breast tumours grow and progress. Firstly, she will find out whether removing PRMT5 stops breast tumours growing, by studying mice that have been implanted with breast cancer cells, and a special breed of mouse that develops breast tumours spontaneously.

Dr Davies will also study whether PRMT5 is present in the breast cancer stem cells in tumours donated by patients. Using these stem cells taken from breast tumours, and stem cells grown in the lab, she will also be able to understand more precisely how PRMT5 helps breast cancer stem cells survive.

What difference will this project make?

Dr Davies’ work will find out how PRMT5 helps cancer stem cells survive and so allows breast tumours to grow and progress. Her research could eventually lead to new treatments which target breast cancer stem cells, which will ultimately help to improve the chances of survival for people with breast cancer.

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