Finding genes essential to basal-like breast cancer

A significant problem in breast cancer is identification of effective approaches to target the highly aggressive basal-like sub-type. Molecularly targeted therapies useful against other forms of breast cancer are not effective against basal-like cancers, nor are chemotherapeutics. We take a novel approach to tackle this problem, focusing on genetic dependencies downstream of initiating oncogenic mutations, in order to gain intervention access against basal-like breast cancer by a new route. Thus, we are building models of mammary cell transformation by cooperating oncogenic lesions, used to identify genes that respond synergistically to the presence of cooperating oncogenes, so-called ‘cooperation response genes’, which in other models of human cancer have proven to be highly enriched for key regulators of tumor formation. The basal-like breast cancer cooperation response genes represent a set of potential intervention targets against a cancer with currently few therapeutic alternatives.


Helene McMurray
University of Rochester
601 Elmwood Ave., Box 633
Rochester, NY 14642
Office: MRB 2-9634