Gustavo Miranda-Carboni, PhD, assistant professor in the Division of Hematology and Oncology at the University of Tennessee Health Science Center (UTHSC), has received a grant totaling $158,232 from the National Cancer Institute, a subsidiary of the National Institutes of Health, to study triple negative breast cancer (TNBC).
The award will be used to support a project titled, “The Role of WNT10B and HMGA2 in Lung Metastasis in Triple Negative Breast Cancer,” and will be distributed over one year.
Breast cancer kills more than 45,000 women per year from metastasis to the brain, bones, liver and lungs. Approximately 15 to 20 percent of breast carcinomas are classified as “triple receptor negative” (TN) and TN-subtypes have the worst survival outcome. The major risk factors for triple negative breast cancer include high body mass index, young age at breast cancer diagnosis (33-45 years old), young age of menarche (first menstrual period), lack of breastfeeding and African-American ethnicity. Despite sensitivity to chemotherapy, TNBC has a propensity to metastasize, mainly to the brain and lungs. In contrast, other breast cancer subtypes preferentially metastasize to the bone and liver. Unlike other subtypes of breast cancer, there is no targeted therapy for TNBC.
The long-term goal of Dr. Miranda-Carboni and his research team is to develop targeted therapeutics to treat or prevent lung metastasis for TNBC patients.
“The resources for African-American women afflicted with TNBC are not very plentiful due to a significant lack of medical care access,” said Dr. Miranda-Carboni. “It is our hope that in collaboration with West Cancer Center and Regional One Health, we can develop a treatment against TNBC metastasis in African-American women at high risk for the disease.”
The National Institutes of Health (NIH), the nation’s medical research agency, includes 27 Institutes and Centers and is a component of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. NIH is the primary federal agency conducting and supporting basic, clinical, and translational medical research, and is investigating the causes, treatments, and cures for both common and rare diseases. For more information about NIH and its programs, visit http://www.nih.gov.