The Montefiore Einstein Cancer Center receives a $10 million grant to study lung metastasis in breast cancer

Newswise – September 19, 2022 – Bronx, New York –Breast cancer is a major public health problem in the United States, and is associated with more than 40,000 deaths each year – most of them from metastasis, and the spread of cancer to other parts of the body. During metastasis, primary breast tumor cells invade the blood vessels, travel in the bloodstream, and then exit the vessels to seed the tumors at their new location. Enhanced knowledge of the mechanisms that allow some cancer cells to survive and grow elsewhere in the body is critical to devising new therapies to prevent metastasis.

National Cancer Institute (NCI) scholarships, part of the National Institutes of Health (NIH) Jonathan Packer, MDProfessor and President Molecular pharmacology in Albert Einstein College of Medicine Co-Director of Shared Resources at Cancer Center at Montefiore Einstein (MECC), a five-year, $10 million (P01) scientific grant to investigate the mechanisms regulating tumor-seeding cancer cells in the lungs, a major site of breast cancer spread. The research will focus on lung metastases from triple-negative breast cancer, which is the most aggressive form of breast cancer and more likely than other types of breast cancer to spread to the lung. This type of breast cancer is also frequently observed in black women, making these studies of particular relevance to MECC patients in the Bronx.

said Dr. Packer, who is also Professor of Biochemistry and William S. Einstein Chair in Pharmacology. “Our findings from this study should help us understand the interactions between cancer cells and non-cancerous cells at metastatic sites and suggest strategies for treating metastatic breast cancer, and possibly metastases caused by other cancers.”

In conducting their research, Dr. Packer and his collaborators at the Middle East Council of Churches from Tumor microenvironment and metastasis And the Cancer treatments The programs and five Einstein departments will use innovative techniques to visualize and analyze breast cancer cells as they leave the blood and form colonies in the lungs of mice. One of these technologies, developed in Gruss Lipper Biophotonics Center, involves surgically implanting “windows” into the chest walls of mice. This allows for detailed, high-resolution imaging of cancer cells that reach the blood vessels in the lung. Using these windows, researchers will be able to track distinct stages of metastatic seeding within the lung, including the arrival of cancer cells from the bloodstream, the movement of cancer cells through the vessel wall into the lung, and subsequent tumor growth and progression. The main focus of the project is on the participation of platelets and cells of the immune system that support malignancy.

Three grant-funded projects will use this and other advanced methodologies to study malignancy. One project led Ann Bresnick, Ph.D.and Dr. Packer, on the role of PI 3-kinase (signal protein) in tumor metastasis, with the goal of providing important preclinical data supporting the use of PI 3-kinase inhibitors for metastatic disease. second led Wenjun Guo, Ph.D.And the Rachel Hazan, Ph.D., will look at a subset of cancer cells with stem cell-like properties and determine if and how non-cancerous cells might stimulate their own rooting. The third project led by Maja Oktay, MD, PhD.And the John Condelis, Ph.D.It will focus on cancer stem cell-like cells that express high levels of MenaINV, an invasive type of Mena protein associated with metastasis. Scientific cores that provide imaging and support for Led cell sorting David Eintenburg, Ph.D.And the Stephen Purcelli, MDStraight.

The grant, titled “Biology of Lung Metastasis in Breast Cancer” was provided by the National Cancer Institute. (1P01CA257885).


About the Montefiore Einstein Cancer Center
Montefiore Einstein Cancer Center (MECC) is a national leader in cancer research and care located in an ethnically diverse and economically disadvantaged area of ​​the Bronx, New York, MECC combines the exceptional science of Albert Einstein College of Medicine with a multidisciplinary, team-based approach. Cancer care at Montefiore Health System. Founded in 1971 and as a designated cancer center by the National Cancer Institute (NCI) since 1972, MECC is redefining excellence in cancer research, clinical care, education and training, outreach and community engagement. Its mission is to ease the burden of cancer on everyone, especially people from historically marginalized communities.