Dr Andrew Schofield at Aberdeen University has conducted the first global study of why some breast cancer patients are resistant to the chemotherapy drug docetaxel. In the research paper published today (European Journal of Cancer - 41.07; pp. 1086-1094 ) Dr Schofield and his team looked at human genetic material and identified two chromosomes, 7 and 10 that are altered in breast cancer cells resistant to docetaxel.
In the treatment of breast cancer one of the most effective chemotherapy drugs is docetaxel. However, this drug does not work for all breast cancer patients, and in order to understand why Dr Schofield grew breast cancer cells in the laboratory and made them resistant to the drug. By studying the genetic material in these cells they have found significant changes to chromosome 7 and 10
The research funded by Breast Cancer Campaign has been so successful that the Charity has awarded Dr Schofield another grant of £135,535 to continue his pioneering work, which will now look more closely at the chromosomes to find the precise genes involved in resistant to docetaxel. Identifying the specific genes involved may be important in allowing clinicians to ascertain which patients are most likely to respond to treatment and also an insight into whether therapies can be developed to overcome this resistance.
Pamela Goldberg, Chief Executive of Breast Cancer Campaign says, “Chemotherapy can have serious side effects and it is devastating for a patient to have to undergo this treatment without the drug having any impact on the disease. Dr Schofield and his team in Aberdeen continue to impress the Charity with their promising research results that could have real benefits for people diagnosed with breast cancer.”
Dr Andrew Schofield says “As a relatively young researcher the funding from Breast Cancer Campaign will ensure a firm foundation to establish my career, produce high quality research and hopefully make a real difference to those individuals affected by breast cancer.”