The team will study polycomb repressive complexes (PcGs), which play major and often conflicting roles in early development and cancer.
A team led by Lluis Morey, Ph.D., has received a five-year, $1.7 million grant from the National Institute of General Medical Sciences (NIGMS) to investigate treatment resistance in estrogen receptor positive (ER+) breast cancer. Specifically, the group will study polycomb repressive complexes (PcGs), which play major and often conflicting roles in early development and cancer.
“Patients who develop resistance to endocrine therapies, which are commonly used to treat ER+ breast cancer, often overexpress polycomb-encoding genes,” said Dr. Lluis Morey, Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center researcher and assistant professor of human genetics at the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine. “We need to better understand how PcGs regulate the genes and signaling pathways that confer this resistance.”
While the NIGMS grant is not intended to fund drug discovery, Dr. Morey believes this work has great potential to identify therapeutic targets that translational scientists and drug companies can pursue. These findings may also support better care for a variety of patients, as polycomb complexes have been implicated in a variety of cancers.