The presence of a protein called Fn14 on the surface of 75% of invasive breast cancers, has been shown to be strongly prognostic for distant metastasis, with the strongest association in HER2/neu positive and Triple Negative breast cancers. Fn14 is not present in normal breast tissues, but once expressed, is sufficient to trigger cell invasion, and behaviour consistent with metastatic progression. This project aims to define the utility of F14 an independent prognostic indicator for aggressive disease, with therapeutic vulnerability in a breast cancer cohort and in time to validate it as a driver of metastasis in preclinical models. Invasion and metastasis are the major reasons for breast cancer-associated mortality.
FIRST NAMED INVESTIGATOR: Dr Heather Cunliffe
HOST INVESTIGATOR: University of Otago