LCRC INSTITUTIONS MAKE ADVANCES IN BREAST CANCER RESEARCH
LCRC faculty from member institutions Tulane School ofMedicine, LSU Health New Orleans, Xavier University of Louisiana and OchsnerHealth are making strides in their work to defeat breast cancer. Close to 3,500new diagnoses of breast cancer are expected in Louisiana by the end of this year:
- Dr. Agustin Garcia, Section Chief of Hematology Oncology at LSU Health Sciences Center and a member of the LCRC faculty, is involved in a national study that identifies whether a woman's genetic makeup puts her at risk for breast cancer, using a saliva test. The free test detects specific genes that increase a woman's risk so she can make more informed decisions about the frequency of her mammograms and breast cancer screenings. More info.
- Researchers at Tulane University School of Medicine identified a gene that causes an aggressive form of breast cancer to rapidly grow. More importantly, they have also discovered a way to “turn it off” and inhibit cancer from occurring. The team led by Dr. Reza Izadpanah examined the role two genes, including one whose involvement in cancer was discovered by Tulane researchers, play in causing triple negative breast cancer, considered to be the most aggressive of breast cancers, More info.
- Xavier University of Louisiana are working on alternatives to the breast cancer hormonal therapy Tamoxifen. Dr. Guangdi Wang leads a team of drug discovery researchers funded by National Institutes of Health RCMI and SBIR grants at Xavier that are developing novel anti-estrogens that do not require metabolism to be activated or that degrade the estrogen receptor. LCRC Scientific Assoc. Director Dr. Thomas Wiese directs core facilities that perform mechanistic screening of drug candidates from Dr. Wang. These new cancer therapies have the potential to be effective in more patients, at more stages of breast cancer. New Orleans-based biomedical company Zenopharm was established to begin the next phase of drug development. The company recently received $4 million from cancer research company Enhanced Bio to fund the first phase of clinical trials through November 2021.
The OchsnerCancer Institute is currently conducting clinical trials investigatingsupportive measures such as nausea prevention, protecting the heart fromchemotherapy toxicity and assisting weight loss in breast cancer patients. Theyalso offer new therapies for a variety of breast cancers includingimmunotherapy trials in early and later stage triple negative breast cancer,new drug combinations in HER2 breast cancer with tucatinib and CDK 4/6 inhibitors.More info.