Grant Received for New Class of Breast Cancer Treatment
June 13, 2011 – The Susan G. Komen for the Cure foundation has awarded Dr. Eliot Rosen of Lombardi Comprehensive Cancer Center a $600,000 grant to research a new class of treatment for a common type of breast cancer.
Most breast cancers are fueled by estrogen and are known as estrogen-receptor-positive (ER+) cancers. Anti-estrogen drugs such as tamoxifen or those that prevent the production of estrogen in the body – such as the aromatase inhibitor anastrozole – can keep cancer at bay.
But Rosen’s team of researchers has found that the tumor suppressor protein from a gene called BRCA1 binds tightly to the estrogen receptor protein – inhibiting its activity and stopping the growth of ER-positive breast cancer cells.
“We are hopeful that our compounds can be developed into drugs that will be useful both for breast cancer prevention and for treatment, particularly for anti-estrogen-resistant cancers, either by themselves or in combination with conventional anti-estrogen agents,” says Rosen, who holds the Gragnani Chair in Oncology and Radiation Biology.
The Komen for the Cure grant funds the critical next steps in Rosen’s research.