Towards a new treatment for metastatic breast cancer

Roni Wright


    Roni Wright


    Universitat Internacional de Catalunya (UIC), Spain


    One in 12 women will develop breast cancer in her lifetime. In fact, this type of cancer is the most common in the world: in 2020 alone, there were more than 2.2 million new cases and some 685,000 women died from the disease.

    If diagnosed at an early stage, 95 % of women survive for more than 5 years. However, when identified at an advanced stage, only 22 % of patients achieve this survival rate. Moreover, despite the fact that 6 out of 10 women are diagnosed at an early stage, around 35 % of them will eventually metastasise.

    Although PARP1 inhibitors showed promise initially to treat metastatic breast cancer, particularly in patients with BRCA mutations, a high percentage of tumours become resistant. The researchers in this project have developed a therapeutic compound, HitX, that targets a key protein downstream of PARP1: NUDT5. When this protein is found at very high levels in metastatic breast cancer, the risk of tumour recurrence and metastasis is high.

    The goal of the project is to optimise HitX and confirm its therapeutic potential, moving towards the development of a new treatment for metastatic breast cancer.