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The fight to block invasive breast cancer
Dr Marina Kochetkova and co-workers at the Centre for Cancer Biology have made a critical breakthrough in the fight against breast cancer by discovering that an obscure protein produced by breast tumours corrupts its surrounding tissue to help the cancer grow and spread.
The protein is called Credl2 and has been found in high levels in very aggressive types of breast cancer, which have lower survival rates.
Now, with funds raised from The Longest Table, the team hopes to find agents that will block the action of Creld2, with the aim of stopping breast cancers from disseminating through the body.
“High levels of Creld2 are found in triple negative breast cancers, among other types, which make up about 15 per cent of all breast cancers in Australia, are difficult to treat and have the poorest survival rates,” Dr Kochetkova says.
“This type of breast cancer also frequently affects younger women.
“Now we aim to develop antibody-based therapies to break the ‘dialogue’ between the tumour and its neighbouring tissue and therefore offer a new path for treating aggressive forms of breast cancer.
“We are very grateful to The Longest Table and Adelady in particular for their support of our project, so we can find new ways to stop invasive breast cancer that still causes much heartbreak for many affected women and their loved ones.”
Dr Kochetkova is working with Associate Professor Michael Samuel on this critical work, who heads the Tumour Microenvironment Laboratory at the Centre for Cancer Biology, an alliance between the University of South Australia and SA Pathology.
Their findings on Creld2 were recently published in highly-rated scientific journal Nature Cell Biology.