Understanding the role of IκBKε in the spread of breast cancer

Project details

Researcher: Dr Aymen Idris

Location: University of Sheffield

Project title: Understanding the role of IκBKε in the spread of breast cancer

Key area: Secondary breast cancer

The challenge

When breast cancer spreads to other parts of the body, it can sometimes be controlled for a while, but sadly can’t be cured. We need to find ways to prevent and treat the spread of breast cancer to stop people dying from the disease.

Project description

‘I kappa B K epsilon’ (IκBKε) is a molecule which is known to have a role in the development of breast cancer. Dr Aymen Idris believes that IκBKε could also be involved in the spread of breast cancer to other parts of the body, in particular the bone, which is the most common site for breast cancer to spread to.

In this project, Dr Idris will first measure the amounts of IκBKε in samples of breast tumours donated by patients to the Breast Cancer Now Tissue Bank, to see whether IκBKε could be used to indicate how likely a person’s breast cancer is to spread.

Dr Idris will then study how IκBKε helps breast tumours to spread throughout the body using a special breed of mouse which develops breast tumours, as well as implanting human tumours into mice. He will investigate whether removing IκBKε or blocking it using an existing drug could make tumours less likely to spread. Dr Idris will also study precisely how IκBKε makes breast tumours more aggressive.

What difference will this project make?

Dr Idris’s research will help to understand how breast tumours are able to spread to other parts of the body, and in particular the bone. His work could ultimately lead to new ways to predict and prevent the spread of breast cancer, improving the chances of survival for people with the disease.

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