Why does breast cancer spread to specific organs and not others?

Start Year: 2018
Finish Year: 2020
Chief Investigator: Associate/Professor Andreas Moller
Institution: QIMR Berghofer Medical Research Institute

Breast cancer cells communicate with each other and distant parts of the body by secreting small particles called exosomes. These exosomes act as messengers from the cancer and go on to alter the behaviour and make-up of other cells, aiding in the progression and spread (metastasis) of cancer.

Andreas Moller
Associate Professor Andreas Moller

To date, it is still unclear how the information contained in these exosomes is targeted for delivery to particular cells.

In this project, NBCF-funded researcher Associate Professor Andreas Moller will define how exosome information is accurately targeted to specific cells and identify why breast cancer spreads to some organs and not others. Enhancing our understanding of how these exosomes work in breast cancer has the potential to improve early detection, diagnosis and selection of the best and most effective therapy for treatment.