The role of DNA damage proteins in the biology and treatment of high-grade metastatic breast cancers

Start Year: 2013
Finish Year: 2016
Chief Investigator: Dr Adrian Wiegmans
Grant Type: Postdoctoral Fellowship
Institution: QIMR Berghofer Medical Research Institute

Postdoctoral Training Fellowship

DNA damage repair genes are highly expressed in aggressive high-grade breast cancers. In particular we have found high levels of the DNA damage repair protein, RAD51, in breast cancer that has spread beyond the breast (metastatic breast cancer).

Reducing RAD51 levels delays the spread of cancer to the brain, bone and lung in mice implanted with mouse or human breast cancer cells. Dr Wiegmans hypothesises that as well as its natural DNA repair activity, RAD51 helps metastatic cells to survive.

This research aims to decipher RAD51’s role in the spread of breast cancer to develop effective therapies against aggressive metastatic disease.