Breast Cancer Research

breast cancer in a dish

Three-dimensional culture of human breast cancer cells, with DNA stained blue and a protein in the cell surface membrane stained green. The cancer in these cells is driven by the ErbB2 gene.
Credit: NCI Center for Cancer Research, National Cancer Institute, National Institutes of Health (NCI Visuals Online)

Several of our researchers are studying breast cancer from asking basic science questions to discover the causes and mechanisms of cancer and to understand the molecular changes that occur in cancer initiation and progression to translating these findings to effective treatments in the clinic. Dr. Stefan Ambs combines traditional epidemiology with laboratory investigations for risk factor discovery and to establish biological plausibility and mechanisms of causality of breast cancer; Dr. Shyam Sharan develops mouse models to understand genetic variant in BRCA1 and BRCA2 genes; Dr. Jing Huang collaborates with other Principal Investigators in LCBG on the breast cancer study and expects their studies will contribute to the precision medicine of breast cancer; Dr. Kandice Tanner's lab focuses on understanding the metastatic traits that allow tumor cells to colonize secondary organs; and Dr. Esta Sterneck investigates cell signaling pathways that regulate mammary gland development and tumorigenesis. 

We also have a concentration of investigators studying breast cancer metastasis: Dr. Kent Hunter continues to pioneer the use of integrated genetic and genomic technologies to gain better understanding of the genes and cellular pathways that contribute to the metastatic process; Dr. Lalage Wakefield is examining the use of TGF-beta antagonists for the suppression of metastasis; Dr. Stephanie Goff's research is focused on the use of adoptive cell transfer in patients with metastatic breast cancer, based on a system of identifying non-synonymous mutations within an individual tumor and evaluating the ability of that patient's lymphocytes to recognize the mutation in vitro; Dr. David Danforth’s research efforts are focused primarily on the molecular characteristics of early breast carcinogenesis which are present in normal breast epithelium and their use to develop a molecular signature for risk assessment; and Dr. Patricia Steeg focuses on the molecular characterization of breast cancer progression.

The Women’s Malignancies Branch conducts basic, translational and clinical research on cancers, such as breast cancer, that only or primarily affect females. Explore our website to find the currently open and enrolling clinical trials on breast cancer. To learn about other CCR researchers who are conducting breast cancer-related research, search our website.

Summary Posted: Thu, 10/01/2020