Funded by the Stuart Scott Memorial Cancer Research Fund and the V Foundation Wine Celebration for Julie Maples, in honor of Antrese Rose Allegro
Breast cancer is one of the most diagnosed cancers in women and it is the top cause of cancer death in Black and Hispanic women. While great advances have been made in the detection and treatment of breast cancers, certain forms of breast cancer remain difficult to treat. Some patients develop resistance to current therapies leading to relapse, metastases, and ultimately death.
We are proposing to use our own immune cells to treat difficult cases of breast cancer. Our approach is to modify T cells with synthetic receptors to specifically recognize and kill breast cancer cells without harming normal tissues and organs.
We are using the T cells ability to patrol our body and modifying them to recognize specific molecular signals, such as the amount of a protein (HER2) present on the surface of cancer cells, to execute potent killing responses. If successful, our approach will lay the foundation for clinical studies, potentially will have major impact on our ability to treat effectively and safely some of the most difficult forms of breast cancer and will provide new approaches to other challenging solid cancers.