Non-coding RNAs in Breast Cancer
Breast cancer is the most common cancer and the leading cause of cancer deaths among women. Approximately 20 % of breast cancer patients develop metastatic disease, which is the predominant cause of breast cancer-related death. Patients with triple-negative breast cancer (negative for receptors of estrogen, progesterone, and epidermal growth factor 2 [ERBB2/HER2]) have the worst prognosis among the subtypes. Currently the only targeted cancer cell-specific therapies that are in standard clinical use are against the estrogen receptor, ERBB2/HER2, or aromatase. Despite of the well-established effectiveness in estrogen receptor-positive treatments, the disease frequently becomes progressive and causes death. Therefore, a clear need for improved and targeted diagnostic and therapy options exist, not only for the triple-negative breast cancer but also estrogen receptor-positive metastatic breast cancer.
This project aims at the identification of ncRNA signatures in breast cancer that aid in the prediction of therapy responsiveness, risk of relapse, or metastasis. The desired overall outcome is identifying biomarkers that can be utilized in clinical diagnosis and treatment planning for breast cancer patients, and ideally used as drug targets. Biomarkers that reliably identify the potential of a breast cancer tumor to metastasize would dramatically influence the treatment effectiveness. Individualized diagnosis and therapy options would enhance the clinical handling of breast cancer and reduce mortality and morbidity.
Associate Professor, UEF