Novel strategies for prediction and control of advanced breast cancer via nanoscaled epigenetic-based biosensors

Start Year: 2008
Finish Year: 2012
Chief Investigator: Professor Matt Trau
Grant Type: Collaborative Grants
Institution: University of Queensland

National Collaborative Breast Cancer Research Grant Program

Alternative Title: Combining nanotechnology with genetics to help better manage advanced breast cancer through early detection

This project explores novel strategies for prediction and control of advanced breast cancer. It is widely accepted that early detection is a major weapon which can be used very effectively against cancer. Professor Trau aims to combine the latest developments in molecular genetics (epigenetics) with the latest developments in nanotechnology (nanoscaled biosensors), to create and clinically test novel diagnostic technology. This could be used for and have a major impact in the early detection, prediction and treatment of advanced breast cancer.

In patients who are burdened with advanced breast cancer, cancer cells have spread past the breast and underarm lymph nodes, to other areas of the body. Once patients develop advanced breast cancer, their prognosis is poor. Previously, a high percentage of patients presenting with a primary tumour are given unnecessary or ineffective treatment due to the inability of standard tumour examination procedures to accurately predict outcome. These patients derive no benefit, but are exposed to the side effects, complications and discomfort as well as the costs of chemotherapy. This national project aims to have a significant impact on the early detection and treatment of breast cancer.