DATE: December 13, 2018
TIME: 09:00am PST, 12:00pm EST
Breast cancers are classified into three main subtypes according to their receptor status: estrogen receptor-positive (ER+), human epidermal growth factor receptor 2-positive (HER2+), and triple negative. These classifications provide information about the biology of the disease and help clinicians determine which treatments to use for patients. Targeted therapy for HER2+ breast cancer, including trastuzamab and pertuzamab, and for ER+ breast cancer, including Tamoxifen and aromatase inhibitors, have drastically improved survival outcomes for patients with these disease subtypes. However, when tumors are both HER2+ and ER+, treatment decisions and outcomes are less clear. HER2+/ER+ breast cancers treated with HER2 targeted therapies do not respond as well as HER2+/ER-negative tumors. Our lab is interested in understanding the biology behind these differences in response as well as better defining treatment options for HER2+/ER+ breast cancer. We have established long-term estrogen deprived (LTED) cell models of HER2+/ER+ breast cancer utilizing phenol-red free media as a surrogate for aromatase inhibitor treatment and Fulvestrant (a selective estrogen receptor degrader) resistant cell lines using increasing doses of Fulvestrant over time. We are testing combination therapy over different time courses then measure proliferation and targets of downstream signaling including protein phosphorylation by western blot and gene transcription by qRTPCR. Ultimately, these results will help inform clinicians about the most effective treatment for patients with HER2+/ER+ breast cancer.
Understand how scientists use cell culture to model endocrine resistance in breast cancer
Decipher differences between breast cancer subtypes and treatment options
Describe changes in signaling pathways that occur during endocrine resistance