U of Houston researcher gets $1.8M grant to prevent progression of some breast cancers

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Tasneem Bawa-Khalfe, PhD, assistant professor of biology and biochemistry at the University of Houston, received a $1.8 million grant from the National Cancer Institute to design a therapeutic strategy to prevent progression of advanced drug-resistant hormone-receptor positive breast cancers, according to a Nov. 3 press release.

Forty percent of hormone-receptor positive breast cancer patients are unresponsive to standard hormone/endocrine therapy, but recent research has shown anti-androgen therapies are a promising alternative, according to the release.

"The objective of our project is to design a therapeutic strategy to effectively target this hyperactive modified AR and prevent metastatic progression of ET-insensitive HR-positive breast cancer," said Dr. Bawa-Khalfe. 

"Working with collaborators in the UH College of Pharmacy and Lester and Sue Smith Breast Cancer Center at Baylor College of Medicine, we have identified actionable/druggable targets and corresponding molecular pathways that support accumulation of the active AR," Dr. Bawa-Khalfe said. "We expect to generate novel therapeutics and evaluate clinically relevant compounds to inhibit these targets and in turn prevent metastatic progression of advanced ET-resistant breast cancer.”

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