This research team combines leading expertise in synthetic and medicinal chemistry and cancer biology. They will evaluate the expression of heparanase, an enzyme that degrades the extracellular matrix that surrounds cells. It facilitates the escape of tumour cells and their entry into circulation, leading to the formation of secondary tumours (metastasis). They will test this highly druggable target with a compound with low toxicity to retard the spread of cancer cells for breast cancer therapy in triple-negative, metastatic human breast cancer cell lines in culture and animal models. Preliminary trials in mice have shown its effectiveness.
FIRST NAMED INVESTIGATOR: Prof John Miller
HOST INVESTIGATOR: Victoria University of Wellington