A grant from CCQ has led to a research breakthrough that could help doctors to beat the most deadly and difficult to treat breast cancers.
The breakthrough involves the identification of a genetic treatment target for aggressive breast cancers, thanks to the work of researchers at the University of Queensland’s Institute for Molecular Bioscience.
The researchers discovered that patients with increased expression and activity of a gene known as RORγ have a better chance of surviving their cancer.
Their clinical investigation found that RORγ is crucial for patient survival because it suppresses the genetic pathways that control cancer formation, cell movement, and invasion, and allow tumours to spread.
RORγ also controls cell growth and promotes DNA repair, which removes the genetic damage that leads to cancer.
Patients with these aggressive and advanced types of breast cancer could be given a drug to boost RORγ activity.
The research team have tested experimental drugs that increase RORγ activity in the laboratory and demonstrated that they control cell growth and metastasis, which is responsible for most cancer deaths and occurs when cancer spreads beyond the original site.
Their next step is to test experimental drugs in animal models, with human trials still some years off.
This is research of global significance and could help to prevent worldwide deaths from breast cancer.
Queensland researchers are leading the way in the race to achieve medical and scientific breakthroughs, and CCQ is proud to play a part.