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.

Map of the Genome and Proteome of Normal Breast

IU School of Medicine researchers are partnering with Broad Institute of MIT and with Harvard University to develop a comprehensive map of the genome and proteome of the normal breast. This new resource will help researchers worldwide to understand cancer-specific differences in proteins involved in the development of breast cancer. Proteins found in breast tumors will be compared with proteins in normal breast tissue to discern the differences. Proteins important in the development of disease will become biomarkers to detect early disease and aid in drug discovery.

Prevent or Reverse Cancer Metastasis

Samy Meroueh, PhD, is interested in developing new therapeutic agents to prevent or reverse cancer metastasis. His laboratory has discovered the first inhibitors of uPAR, a receptor that is only expressed in cancer cells that are prone to spread to distant organs. Recently, Dr. Meroueh has discovered a small molecule that inhibits breast cancer cell invasion and bone colonization. His compounds stops metastasis in laboratory models by directly targeting the malignant cells. Dr. Meroueh is currently pursuing these novel small molecules in animals to evaluate their ability to prevent and inhibit bone metastasis.

Detecion Device for Triple-Negative Breast Cancer Biomarkers

Milan Radovich, PhD, an expert in the genetic analysis of cancer, has embarked on an international research project. Dr. Radovich is collaborating with researchers at Purdue University and the University of Texas to develop a device to detect TNBC biomarkers in African women who are at high risk for this disease. His goal is to develop a low-cost and portable method for breast cancer detection appropriate to test in Kenya where health access and resources are scarce. Ultimately, the device could be utilized in U.S. public hospitals and become a routine screening device in all clinics.