Targeting MUC1 and Cripto oncoproteins by combined immunotherapy for breast cancer

Start Year: 2007
Finish Year: 2009
Chief Investigator: Ms Eunice Yang
Grant Type: Fellowships
Institution: Burnet Institute Incorporating Austin Research Institute

Doctoral Research Scholarship

During the last decade, the treatment of breast cancer has not been significantly advanced by conventional surgical, chemotherapeutic and radioactive approaches. Monoclonal antibodies (Mabs) approaches, such as Herceptin, are new technique to treat cancer patients. These antibodies bind to cancer targets (antigens), interfere with cancer cell function and induce cancer cell death.

Unfortunately, most Mabs have an effect on less than 50% of cancer patients due to the complexity of cancer. Therefore, targeting two or more cancer targets could be a potential strategy for cancer therapy. Our laboratory has produced a number of Mabs against MUC1 and Cripto cancer target. Both MUC1 and Cripto targets are overexpressed in more than 80% of breast cancer patients. The combination of anti-MUC1 and anti-Cripto Mabs may be able to target a broader range of breast cancer patients as cancer cells not killed by one antibody may be killed by the other.