Public Release: 

CCNY-led discovery may help breast cancer treatment

City College of New York

Researchers led by Dr. Debra Auguste, associate professor, biomedical engineering, in the Grove School of Engineering at The City College of New York, have identified a molecule that could lead to developing treatment for one of the most aggressive forms of breast cancer.

Triple negative breast cancers (TNBCs) have a high mortality rate owing to aggressive proliferation and metastasis and a lack of effective therapeutic options. However, Professor Auguste's team, discovered the overexpression of intercellular adhesion molecule-1 (ICAM-1) in human TNBC cell lines and tissues, and demonstrated that it is a potential molecular target and biomarker for TNBC therapy and diagnosis.

"No therapies are available to treat triple negative breast cancer cells and because of that patients have a poor prognosis," said Professor Auguste, the recipient of a 2014 Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers.

The Identification of ICAM-1 as a TNBC target and biomarker may lead to the development of a new strategy and platform for addressing a critical gap in TNBC patient care, she added.

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The research is funded by a $2.5 million National Institutes of Health grant of which Professor Auguste is principal investigator. It includes researchers from Harvard Medical School, Emory University School of Medicine, Brigham and Women's Hospital and Boston Children's Hospital.

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