Anti-Cancer Drugs for Advanced and Resistant Breast Cancer

Start Year: 2019
Finish Year: 2020
Chief Investigator: Professor Des Richardson
Institution: The University of Sydney

Breast cancer tumours can become resistant to treatment through a number of mechanisms, including changes within the cells and also in the communication between cells. Unfortunately, many advanced tumours develop drug resistance. This generally leads to a poor prognosis for people with advanced breast cancer.

In previous NBCF-funded projects, Professor Des Richardson has developed a number of new treatments for breast cancer. This includes the drug DpC, which has recently been shown to have effective and safe outcomes in Phase 1 clinical trials. The drugs he has developed are cheap to prepare and able to be taken orally in a tablet form, ensuring ease of access for patients. However, the primary aim of his previous work was to test treatment efficacy and the drugs were not optimised to prevent drug resistance.

This new NBCF-funded study will develop drugs that block two key steps in drug resistance, by binding copper and “hijacking” a drug-pump in tumour cells. In addition to the drug development, Prof Richardson and his team will develop simple blood tests to assess the anti-tumour activity of the new treatments in order to ensure maximum efficacy. These exciting new drugs have the potential to be breakthrough treatment options for advanced drug-resistant breast cancer.