News Release: World Cancer Day Research Highlight - Breast Cancer Breakthrough in BC

In recognition of World Cancer Day on February 4th, 2013, the Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation – BC/Yukon Region (CBCF) has much to celebrate.

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The research team in Dr. Sandra Dunn's lab at the University of British Columbia

"RSK2 inhibition provides a novel therapeutic avenue for TNBC and holds the promise of being one of the first targeted therapies for this challenging form of breast cancer."

VANCOUVER, BC (PRWEB) January 29, 2013

In recognition of World Cancer Day on February 4th, 2013, the Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation – BC/Yukon Region (CBCF) has much to celebrate.

We are very proud of our world-class researchers here in BC, many of whom have and continue to be funded by CBCF. In fact, just months ago, breakthrough research was completed by University of British Columbia (UBC) Associate Professor in the Faculty of Medicine, Dr. Sandra Dunn and her team as they announced the discovery of a protein that can essentially “turn off” the recurrence of triple negative breast cancer (TNBC), one of the deadliest forms of the disease. This finding has the potential to cure TNBC by targeting a protein called RSK2, which eliminates TNBC cells completely, leading to new therapies to more effectively treat this aggressive type of breast cancer.

The study, published June 5, 2012 in Stem Cells medical journal, reports that RSK2 inhibitors have the ability to kill all of the cells including cancer stem cells which give rise to cancer recurrence. This cutting-edge discovery will potentially personalize the treatment of TNBC on an international scale.

"RSK2 inhibition provides a novel therapeutic avenue for TNBC and holds the promise of being one of the first targeted therapies for this challenging form of breast cancer," says Dr. Sandra Dunn, UBC.

TNBC is diagnosed in approximately 400,000 women worldwide and is considered the most difficult breast cancer subtype to treat due to lack of effective therapies. Dr. Dunn’s laboratory at the Child & Family Research Institute at BC Children’s Hospital led the project in collaboration with scientists from Breakthrough Breast Cancer UK and the University of Auckland NZ.

This project began four years ago when UBC Post Doctorate Fellow Dr. Stratford of the Child & Family Research Institute was awarded $214,000 by CBCF BC/Yukon to support her research on this project entitled “The regulation of the Y-box binding protein-1 (YB-1) by p90 ribosomal S6 kinase (RSK) in triple-negative breast cancer.”

In addition, a doctoral candidate in the Experimental Medicine Program at UBC, Kristen Reipas was awarded $35,000 in support of this research study, entitled “Targeting Y-box binding protein-1 eliminates tumor-initiating cells and reduces relapse in triple-negative breast cancer.”

While breast cancer remains the most common cancer in Canadian women, representing 26% of all newly- diagnosed cases, we have made significant progress as the risk of dying from the disease. It is reported that one in nine Canadian women is expected to develop breast cancer in her lifetime; however BC stands above the rest of the world in breast cancer survival – at a rate of 91.8% five-year survival of the disease.

Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation – BC/Yukon Region

The BC/Yukon Region of CBCF was established in 1992 to make a difference in breast cancer research and breast health for the BC population. Every year CBCF, along with its donors, sponsors and partners, raises funds to support unique and innovative initiatives in prevention, early detection, treatment, research and emerging issues in the health care workforce.

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Media Contact:
Sydney Nusbaum, Specialist, Marketing & Communication
Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation – BC/Yukon Region
snusbaum(at)cbcf(dot)org
604.683.2873 x 237


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