Towards targeted treatments for advanced basal breast cancers

Start Year: 2010
Finish Year: 2012
Chief Investigator: Professor Georgia Chenevix-Trench
Grant Type: Pilot Study
Institution: Queensland Institute of Medical Research

Pilot Study Grant

The basal subtype of breast cancer has a very poor outcome because it does not respond to hormone therapy, frequently spreads to the brain and other parts of the body, where complete surgical removal of these secondary cancers is extremely difficult.

Professor Chenevix-Trench proposes that alterations in a particular class of genes (‘oncogene’) in the primary breast tumours, or in other aspects of the cellular pathways controlled by these oncogenes, are partially responsible for the spread of these breast cancers. A large number of drugs have already been developed to kill cells with alterations in oncogenes and so, once the spectrum of oncogene alterations that exist in the primary and secondary cancers have been identified, laboratory tests to determine which drugs work most effectively on breast cancer cell lines with altered oncogenes can be developed.