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CBCF Funds Game-Changing Discovery in Triple-Negative Breast Cancer

Dr-PeterRogan_1.jpg Dr. Dunn

Triple-negative breast cancer (TNBC) is an aggressive cancer that occurs globally in 400,000 women each year, often affecting younger people. It is much more aggressive than other cancers and is more likely to relapse and spread. A discovery made by a Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation – BC/Yukon Region funded research project has identified a protein critical to the survival of TNBC patients. This research has the potential to cure TNBC by targeting a protein called RSK2, which eliminates TNBC cells completely.

Figuring out a means to halt the proliferation of these cancer cells can potentially destroy one of the most deadly types of breast cancer. The promising discovery could lead to a targeted treatment of TNBC, something that has not been achieved to date. Through funding from CBCF, Dr. Sandra Dunn, an associate professor in the Faculty of Medicine at the University of British Columbia, and her team, have identified a protein with the ability to kill all cells including cancer stem cells which give rise to cancer recurrence.

"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. Dunn.

Breast cancer outcomes in Canada are some of the best in the world, thanks in huge part to a growing community of world class scientists across the country who are investigating better ways to prevent, detect and treat breast cancer,” says Elaine Webb, Senior Director, Health Promotion and Communication.

About the Grant:

CBCF – BC/Yukon Region is proud to award the Breast Cancer Research Postgraduate Fellowships every year to the most qualified breast cancer research projects across the province. These awards are intended for qualified health care professionals, MD graduates or recent PhD graduates to provide assistance in launching a career as an independent, social, clinical or basic science investigator in breast cancer research.

Area of focus: Treatment

Information about Researchers:

  • Dr. Sandra Dunn is an associate professor in the Faculty of Medicine, Department of Pediatrics, at the University of British Columbia

  • Dr. Anna Stratford is a post-doctoral fellow in Dr. Sandra Dunn’s lab at the Child and Family Research Institute in Vancouver

  • Kristen Reipas is a doctoral candidate in the department of Experimental Medicine at the University of British Columbia


Pictured, from left to right: Dr. Sandra Dunn, Dr. Anna Stratford , and Kristen Reipas.