CIHR funding boosts Queen's research into breast cancer treatment
Peter Greer (Pathology and Molecular Medicine) has received $1.6 million for two research projects aimed at developing new treatments to slow tumour growth in breast cancer.
"We have been working on these projects for several years and are delighted that both grants were renewed in the last Canadian Institute for Health Research (CIHR) competition,” says Dr. Greer.
The researchers in Dr. Greer’s lab are looking at the impact of two enzymes – Fer and calpain – on tumour growth.
In previous studies at Queen's Cancer Research Institute, Dr. Greer and his research team have shown that inhibiting these enzymes slows cancer growth. Further research is aimed at a deeper understanding of how Fer and calpain contribute to causing tumours, and at developing new drugs to target the enzymes in cancer treatment.
Fer regulates cellular functions by adding phosphates to proteins to affect their functions, and calpain regulates cell behaviour by splitting proteins into smaller peptides.
“There are exciting new technologies and huge amounts of knowledge coming down the pipe that are revealing the biological complexities of cancer at a much more sophisticated level,” says Dr. Greer. “I hope to see some of the work we have done contribute to that further understanding of cancer and to improved treatments for breast and other cancer in the future.”
Cancer is a disease of gene mutations. The challenge for cancer biologists is to determine how gene products, and in some cases mutant versions of them, interact in ways that control cancer cell survival and production, as well as migration and invasion properties leading to the spread of disease.