Roswell Park Receives Grant to Study Genetic Markers in Breast Cancer Development

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

BUFFALO, NY - Roswell Park Cancer Institute (RPCI) is the recipient of a grant from Susan G. Komen for the Cure for $186,000 to support research exploring the role of certain genetic markers in the development of breast cancer.

Dr. Vita Golubovskaya, Associate Professor in the Department of Surgical Oncology at RPCI, is leading the exploration of two genetic indicators that have been linked to the growth of malignant tumors of the breast. These markers, known as the Focal Adhesion Kinase (FAK) and p53, have been noted separately in previous research as potential indicators for breast cancer. Dr. Golubovskaya’s research, however, seeks to establish a link between the two to prove that the presence of both could accelerate the growth of malignant breast cancer.

Dr. Golubovskaya’s study theorizes that overexpressed FAK, when present with mutant p53, can block the effectiveness of traditional drug treatments, reducing their ability to destroy breast cancer cells.

“By better understanding the relationship between FAK and p53, we hope to develop novel drug therapies to target these two tumor markers and therefore inhibit tumor growth and malignancies,” said Dr. Golubovskaya. “The development of these new treatment methods could lead to improved outcomes for many breast cancer patients.”

The mission of Roswell Park Cancer Institute (RPCI) is to understand, prevent and cure cancer. RPCI, founded in 1898, was one of the first cancer centers in the country to be named a National Cancer Institute-designated comprehensive cancer center and remains the only facility with this designation in Upstate New York. The Institute is a member of the prestigious National Comprehensive Cancer Network, an alliance of the nation’s leading cancer centers; maintains affiliate sites; and is a partner in national and international collaborative programs. For more information, visit RPCI’s website at http://www.roswellpark.org, call 1-877-ASK-RPCI (1-877-275-7724) or email askrpci@roswellpark.org.

Media Contact: 

Annie Deck-Miller, Senior Media Relations Manager
716-845-8593; annie.deck-miller@roswellpark.org