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KCI Investigators Present Breast Cancer Findings

Armen Hareyan's picture

Breast Cancer Research

Members from the laboratory of Stephen Ethier, Ph.D. will present research findings on breast cancer-causing genes and how they operate at the American Association of Cancer Research Annual Meeting.

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"We know there are genetic drivers of this disease," said Dr. Ethier, principal investigator of a breast cancer research lab at Karmanos Cancer Institute. "My lab wants to prove what genes are causing (breast) cancer, and we're coming up with some novel research that we believe will prove which genes cause this disease."

Dr. Ethier's laboratory is also researching how these cancer-causing genes, often referred to as oncogenes, function so effective therapies can be targeted toward them.

Two members from his lab, Katie L. Streicher, Ph.D., and Nicole E. Willmarth, are studying a subset of breast cancers with epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) overexpression, which correlates with a poor prognosis. They recently discovered that to effectively target EGFR, the ligand amphiregulin (AR) and the cytokine IL-1 must be targeted, or "turned off."