Dr Colin Clyne, Dr Ashwini Chand, Prof Evan Simpson
Hudson Institute of Medical Research, Monash University
New targets are urgently required for the treatment of breast cancer. Our previous work showed that the protein known as LRH-1 mimics oestrogen action in breast, thereby driving cancer development and causing a cancer to metastasise and spread.
Our project is resting this using cell lines derived from breast cancer tissues and mouse models so we can determine how LRH-1 affects breast cancer development and spread in animals.
What is the need?
Breast cancer is one of hte leading causes of cancer-associated death in women. Not all patients respond to existing treatments, and disease recurrence is common. New targets are required for breast cancer therapy, particularly for tumours that do not respond - or no longer respond- to established therapies.
LRH-1 is emerging as a promising therapeutic candidate, and our pilot data shows that LRH-1 may play important roles in stimulating metastasis and spread of cancer cells. Since metastatic cancer is the predominant cause of breast cancer-related death, understanding the mechanisms that underline this process is essential in order to develop more effective treatments.
What impact will this research have?
Successful outcomes will uncover the ways in which LRH-1 regulates cell growth in breast cancer cells. This could position LRH-1 as an attractive target for development of novel therapeutics agains metastatic disease, which currently has few treatment options.
Drugs that target inhibit LRH-1 activity are under development and outcomes from this research may therefore provide a rationale for clinical trials to access safety and efficacy of these drugs in those affected by breast cancer.
Generate and calidate breast cancer cell lines in which LRH-1 expression is modified.
Demonstrate short term effects of LRH-1 on mammary gland morphology and proliferation.
Uncover the mechanisms by which LRH-1 promotes growth.
Demonstrate long-term effects of LRH-1 on mammary gland proliferation.
| Show that LRH-1 promotes breast cancer proliferation and progression in animal models.
"New targets are required for breast cancer therapy, particularly for tumours that do not respond - or no longer respond- to established therapies."