Most common cancer in women
Breast cancer is the most common cancer in women, accounting for more than 400,000 deaths per year worldwide. Over three quarters of women diagnosed with breast cancer receive anti-oestrogen therapy such as tamoxifen or letrozole.
New avenue for breast cancer research
Our researchers have found three newly identified genes that are active in ER (oestrogen receptor) positive breast cancer. These three genes are turned on at the same time as the oestrogen receptor. The three genes appear to be involved in the way breast cancers respond to treatment, and may contribute to genetic susceptibility to breast cancer. This project will investigate their roles in breast cancer.
Determining new genes' influence
We aim to determine why these genes are turned on together, and how they then influence the rate at which cancer cells grow. We will also investigate how these genes influence a woman's risk of breast cancer, and the way in which she will respond to treatment.
Understanding the role of these genes will help to make sure patients receive the most appropriate treatment, and will lead to the development of more effective therapies.
Dr Sofie Van Huffel loads PCR (polymerase chain reaction equipment) to investigate gene co-regulation in breast cancer.