Funded in partnership with Miami Dolphins Foundation
It is estimated that 1 in 8 women will be diagnosed with breast cancer in the US. During the last decades, breast cancer survival rates have greatly improved, mainly due to factors such as earlier detection and a better understanding of the disease. There are at least five different type of breast cancer. In this proposal, we will investigate one of the breast cancer subtypes, called estrogen receptor positive (ER+) breast cancer. ER+ breast cancer needs the estrogen to grow. Estrogen is a hormone that is important for sexual and reproductive development, mainly in women. ER+ breast cancer accounts for 70% of breast cancers and is typically treated with drugs designed to slow or stop the growth of cancer that uses estrogen to develop. Although this type of therapy has been shown to reduce the risk of relapse and death from breast cancer, one third of patients develop resistance. This results in the spreading of cancer cells to other organs, known as metastasis. Thus, there is a critical need for identifying new treatments for patients who develop resistance to current therapies. The focus of this proposal is to understand the mechanisms of resistance to therapy and to overcome resistance by using a novel therapeutic approach. This is the next step towards our overarching goal, which is the identification of new therapeutic opportunities for the treatment of patients with aggressive breast cancer.