A team led by Dr Leonie Young of RCSI including MMI Clinician Scientist Fellow Dr Damian McCartan and researchers based in UCD has published important research with applications in the diagnosis and treatment of breast cancer. About 70% of breast cancers are oestrogen receptor positive – the cancer cells contain oestrogen hormone receptors and the hormone stimulates the cancer cells to multiply. Standard therapy incorporates treatments to reduce the level of oestrogen or block its action on cells. However in some cases (25-30%) the cancer re-grows. The team have discovered two predictive biomarkers one in tissue and the other in blood serum that can give advance warning if a patient is likely to have a poor response to standard therapies. This enables the clinician to select an alternative more aggressive therapy at an earlier stage. The College recently launched the research findings and is hoping to develop a test with a commercial partner.
The research was supported by Science Foundation Ireland and Breast Cancer Ireland.
Dr Damian McCartan holds an MMI Clinician Scientist Fellowship. The MMI Clinician Scientist Fellowship Programme is funded through PRTLI Cycle 4 administered by the Higher Education Authority.
Irish Times article: http://www.irishtimes.com/newspaper/ireland/2010/0525/1224271087415.html
McIlroy M McCartan D Early S Gaora PO Pennington S Hill AD Young LS. (2010). Interaction of Developmental Transcription Factor HOXc11 with Steroid Receptor Coactivator SRC-1 Mediates Resistance to Endocrine Therapy in Breast Cancer. Cancer Res. 70 1585-1594. http://cancerres.aacrjournals.org/cgi/content/abstract/70/4/1585
MMI Clinician Scientist Fellowship Programme: https://www.crdi.ie/csfp“