Prof Lewis will investigate whether targeting certain molecules can prevent relapse

Project details

Researcher: Professor Claire Lewis

Location: University of Sheffield

Project title: To find out whether targeting the molecules CXCR4 and VEGFA can prevent relapse in triple negative breast cancer patients

Key area: Secondary breast cancer

Professor Lewis will investigate whether targeting two molecules, CXCR4 and VEGFA, can prevent relapse and the development of secondary tumours in triple negative breast cancer.

The challenge

Triple negative breast cancer can be a more aggressive form of the disease, for which there are currently limited treatment options available. We need to develop new and effective ways to treat triple negative breast cancer and prevent patients from relapsing and developing incurable secondary tumours.

The science behind the project

Research has found that two molecules, known as CXCR4 and VEGFA, have an important role in encouraging cancer cells to spread from the breast to other sites in the body following chemotherapy. This can lead to a patient’s breast cancer returning and forming incurable secondary tumours.

Professor Claire Lewis and her team at the University of Sheffield will use experimental models of triple negative breast cancer to find out whether targeting CXCR4 and VEGFA can prevent or delay the cancer returning and spreading. Following chemotherapy, mice will be treated with drugs that target these molecules and will be monitored for signs of the cancer returning and forming secondary tumours.

What difference will this project make?

If targeting CXCR4 and VEGFRA is successful, this treatment method may progress quickly to clinical trials as these drugs have already been approved for use in humans to treat other diseases. This may lead to much needed new treatment options for triple negative breast cancer and ultimately improve outcomes for patients.

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