Seewaldt awarded NCI provocative-questions R01 to study breast cancer

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Victoria Seewaldt, MD, professor of medicine (Medical Oncology) and director of the Breast Cancer Prevention Program at the Women’s Wellness Clinic, learned recently that  she and her colleagues at Duke, along with Charlotte Kuperwasser, PhD, of Tufts University, will receive an NCI/NI Provocative Question R01 grant.

"Our application investigates the role of MCP-1 signaling in promoting triple-negative breast cancer in obese women," said Dr. Seewaldt. "The grant translates from humanized mouse models, to 3-D and 4-D culture, to clinical trials, and back to the lab."

We understand that this was a very competitive RFA, with more than 8,000 proposals submitted and just two dozen grants awarded.

Seewaldt adds this:

We are only just starting to understand the role of obesity and the breast microenvironment in breast cancer. Here our team investigates the role of obesity in mouse models of inflammation and microenvironment signaling in promoting breast cancer initiation and progression. We then will take our findings and test in high-risk women whether we can modify tissue microenvironment signaling to reverse changes in the breast that we hypothesize promote breast cancer.

We are excited to embark on a project that uses co-studies of mice and high-risk women. This allows us to investigate the mechanistic contribution of the tissue environment and then test our laboratory observations in high-risk women. We are hopeful that we will identify new ways to prevent aggressive breast cancers.