For some patients with certain types of breast cancer, treatment with radiotherapy (x-ray treatment) and hormone therapy before surgery may reduce the need for mastectomies (removal of the whole breast) and allow breast conserving surgery (removal of a small part of the breast) instead. Reducing the need for mastectomies is likely to improve patient well-being.

By investigating the role of the proteins TBX2 and KDM1A in breast cancer, Dr Mullan’s team aims to reveal which patients are likely to fail to respond to current chemotherapy treatments and provide an opportunity for the development of new targeted treatments, including treatments for triple negative breast cancers.

 

Dr McIntyre will study the mechanisms that allow triple negative breast cancer cells to survive when oxygen levels are low. This will help to identify the most effective way to treat patients with triple negative breast cancer.

Dr Triona Ni Chonghaile aims to understand the role of the bromodomain proteins in the progression of invasive lobular breast cancer, a subtype of breast cancer that occurs in 15% of cases. The researchers aim to investigate if a small molecule drug, JQ1, can target the bromodomain proteins and stop lobular breast cancer’s growth.   

 

Dr Khaled will be researching how BCL11A and other proteins interact in triple negative breast cancer cells and how these interactions affect the rest of the cell. He hopes that this information could lead to new targeted treatments for this form of the disease.

 

 

Dr Fiona Kennedy will investigate the feasibility of an online resource to offer support to secondary breast cancer patients and help them to manage their symptoms with the ultimate aim of improving their overall quality of life.