Grants - Translational Grants - Alabama - 2018

Erica Stringer-Reasor, M.D.

First year of this Vintner Grant funded by the 2018 V Foundation Wine Celebration in honor of Suzanne Pride Bryan

Approximately 20-25% of breast cancers express the human epidermal growth factor receptor 2 (HER2). These tumors are associated with a high risk of recurrence because of possible resistance to HER2-therapies. Therefore, new therapies are needed to treat this fast growing form of breast cancer.

Poly (ADP-Ribose) polymerases (PARP) inhibitors have been used to treat breast and ovarian cancers with DNA mutations.  In addition to its roles in DNA damage repair, PARP1 has other roles such as activation of genes, which control tumor cell growth.   PARP inhibitors may be used as a treatment to block tumor cell growth.  In this study, we will determine the safety and effectiveness of combining the PARP inhibitor niraparib with the HER2-targeted agent trastuzumab to treat HER2+ breast cancer in a clinical trial. We will also examine tumor tissue samples to help us understand how the treatment effects tumor response. Our goal is to develop better therapies to improve the survival of breast cancer patients who are at high risk of relapse.