Prof Christina Mitchell, Prof Catriona McLean
What is the project?
Breast cancer is the most common malignancy among females, affecting 1 in 8 women. Normal cells only divide when they receive a stimulus however cancer cells divide uncontrollably and are able to spread to other sites in the body in a process known as metastasis. We have identified a protein known as a 3 phosphatase which regulates cancer growth and spread and may affect disease outcome. Our project aims to find out the ways this novel protein controls breast cancer growth and metastasis using breast cancer samples and cell lines.
What is the need?
Death from breast cancer is usually caused by metastatic disease rather than the primary tumour. An understanding of the underlying ways that lead to breast cancer growth and spread is critical to improve patient survival.
Our project builds on our work that has identified a novel regulator of breast cancer growth and metastasis which is frequently amplified in breast cancer. These studies will provide evidence of whether loss of function of this protein could be a new approach to suppress breast cancer growth and metastasis.
What are you trying to achieve?
My aim over the next five years is to determine the ways by which phosphatase proteins contribute to the development and spread of breast cancers. I want to identify new therapies to treat breast cancers which have high mortality rates and limited treatment options.
Cancer Council Victoria Research Grant