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Active Research in Drug and New Product Development
Research being conducted by Vera Bradley Foundation breast cancer researchers at IU School of Medicine include the following areas of investigation related to new drug and product development for breast cancer treatment.
Prevent or Reverse Cancer Metastasis
Detecion Device for Triple-Negative Breast Cancer Biomarkers
Combating Resistance to Chemotherapy
Common drugs used for heartburn may also help manage this type of drug resistance by targeting a key enzyme that increases when breast cancer cells become resistant to chemotherapy. JT Zhang, PhD, studied this effect in laboratory animals and also mined health records to determine if women being treated with proton-pump inhibitors (the purple pills) while receiving breast cancer treatment lived longer than women who were not. Encouraged by early findings, a national clinical study, led by Kathy Miller, MD, is now underway to learn if this addition to therapy will benefit women treated for triple negative breast cancer.
Painful Side Effects of Treatment
Aggressive Tumors and Recurrent Disease
Kenneth Nephew, PhD’s laboratory provided the scientific discovery that led to a new clinical trial proposed to one of the national Stand Up to Cancer dream teams. His research demonstrates that there may be a way to improve treatment for patients with triple negative breast cancer who are battling recurrence. After learning that inhibiting a protein called PARP controls advanced cancer more effectively than chemotherapy in women with a BRCA gene mutation, Nephew discovered a way to make cancers from women without a BRCA mutation susceptible to the new PARP inhibitors. The combination is being studied in women for the first time in the SU2C trial.