Clues to treat cancer
Scouring triple negative breast cancer for leads on diagnostics and drugs
Proteomics tools at EMSL will play a key role in a 20-month, $8.6-million, Department of Defense-funded research project that aims to find new diagnostic tools and options for drugs to treat triple negative breast cancers. These hard-to-treat cancers are more common in young and black women, are typically more aggressive, and therapies are still limited to radiation and general chemotherapy. The term, triple negative, comes from diagnosis and testing. One of the first things doctors check when a woman is diagnosed with breast cancer is whether her cancer will grow in response to any or all of three hormones and could, therefore, be treated with particular drugs. Triple negative breast cancers don't respond to the hormones. In their search for new solutions, researchers will explore one of the most comprehensive collections of breast cancer clinical samples in the U.S.—the Clinical Breast Care Project located at the Walter Reed National Military Medical Center in Bethesda, Maryland, and the Windber Research Institute in Windber, Pennsylvania. Because the Army has such a large population of women that receive health care for years, as well as a higher percentage of black women than the general U.S. population, the Walter Reed-Windber breast cancer repository will provide many high quality samples with well-documented health histories. The research team, led by PNNL’s proteomics expert Richard D. Smith, will profile the complement of proteins, or proteome, that the breast cancer tissues produce, looking for proteins that triple negative cancers shared. In addition to providing leads on diagnostic tools and therapies, this study might reveal proteins and molecular pathways that have gone astray and led to cancer in the first place.
Read the full PNNL press release.
Released: May 23, 2012