Investigating the role of microRNAs in breast cancer progression

Start Year: 2010
Finish Year: 2012
Chief Investigator: Dr Patsy Soon
Grant Type: Pilot Study
Institution: The University of Sydney

Pilot Study Grant

Ductal carcinoma in situ (DCIS) is an early form of breast cancer in which cancer cells are confined to the normal milk ducts. The next stage, known as invasive breast cancer, occurs when cancer cells invade through the walls of these ducts and grow into the surrounding breast tissue where they may gain access to small vessels and spread to other parts of the body.

The mechanisms that allow cancer cells to progress from DCIS to invasive breast cancer are largely unknown. In this study Dr Soon proposes to investigate whether small regulatory molecules called microRNAs play a role in this. If it is true, examining microRNAs in DCIS may assist in identifying cases at high risk of progressing to invasive breast cancer. It may also suggest new strategies to prevent this from occurring.