Targeted treatment gives new hope on breast cancer

UQ researchers are offering women and their families the hope of improved future breast cancer treatments by pushing the boundaries of cancer research in collaboration with the university’s global partners.

A recent study discovered a new way to target rare and resistant forms of breast cancer.

This and other UQ discoveries are good news for the more than 3000 Queensland women expected to be diagnosed with breast cancer this year.

UQ’s Professor Gregory Monteith says the findings could represent a new way to target breast cancer cells.

“We found that a cellular channel, TRPV4, which acts as a sensor in normal cells, is at a much higher level in some breast cancer cases.

“This includes those cases that do not respond to most targeted therapies.

“We found that the cancer cells can be killed by over-stimulating the protein and thereby stopping its growth,” he said.

One in eight Queensland women will be diagnosed with breast cancer before the age of 85, and younger women with the disease actually have poorer survival rates than older women.

Additional funding is needed to make current drugs more effective and jump-start clinical trials.

“We believe drugs used to treat other conditions may be applied to treat some types of breast cancer, so we might be able to apply discoveries quite soon as no major drug development process is needed.

“What we need to do now is more research to determine effective ways of using them,” Professor Monteith says.

This groundbreaking breast cancer research can be progressed with the support of generous donors.

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