A new target to combat breast cancer
For tumours to grow they require access to the blood for provision of oxygen exchange and nutrients. This access is mediated via new vascular channels and the mechanisms underpinning this include (i) the recruitment of normal vascular cells and (ii) the generation of vascular like structures by the cancer cells themselves (vasculogenic mimicry).
If successful, our research will identify a single unifying factor which controls these mechanisms and by doing so we will have identified a new pathogenic marker of breast cancer. Following further validation of this unique marker, we can begin to identify breast cancer patients who express it and provide them with a new treatment option. To this end, we are developing a new monoclonal antibody to rapidly translate our results into better management for breast cancer patients.
What we aim to achieve
If successful, we hope to significantly improve the management of the most aggressive form of breast cancer and thus reduce the number of breast cancer-related deaths in Australia and worldwide.
Our next steps and milestones
Cancer Council SA's funding has significantly advanced our research into breast cancer. The identification of a single pathogenic factor which promotes multiple forms of tumour vascularisation may well pave the way for development of novel predictive markers and therapeutic approaches to treat the most aggressive and difficult-to-manage breast cancers.
What motivates me
My job is a constant journey of medical discovery. Every day is filled with excitement and anticipation of finding something new and making a significant contribution to health and wellbeing worldwide.
My message to supporters
We are constantly mindful of the donations that people make to medical research and that what we do is not possible without them. Donations help us to continue the fight against cancer by buying the essential and most advanced equipment which allows us to work faster and make better progress. By doing so, we can develop new treatment options for cancer patients as quickly as possible.