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News Release

UC San Diego researchers working to trace roots of triple negative breast cancer

Shankar Subramaniam

June 7, 2022 -- Researchers at the University of California San Diego, in collaboration with researchers at City of Hope Hospital, have launched a new project to uncover the mechanisms that lead to triple negative breast cancer in human breast tissues.

The UC San Diego project is funded by Wellcome Leap’s Delta Tissue (ΔT) program, which aims to develop a platform to measure and model key cell and tissue states that drive infectious diseases and aggressive, hard-to-treat cancers.

Among these cancers is triple negative breast cancer (TNBC). What makes TNBC so aggressive and hard to treat is that the cancer cells in TNBC lack three things found in many other breast cancers: an estrogen receptor, a progesterone receptor, and extra receptors for a protein called HER2. As a result, the cancer does not respond to breast cancer treatments that target these receptors. TNBC accounts for about 10 to 15 percent of all breast cancers.

The team, led by UC San Diego bioengineering professor Shankar Subramaniam, will perform fundamental studies to decipher the precise pathways involved in TNBC initiation, progression and metastasis. The researchers will use innovative experimental approaches, multi-omics strategies and data analytics to delineate these pathways and develop robust models of TNBC. Their work could potentially help identify stage and etiology-specific next generation therapeutics for TNBC.

Media Contacts

Liezel Labios
Jacobs School of Engineering