Roswell Park Study of TAK1 Enzyme Searches for New Ways to Stop Breast Cancer

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Pardee Foundation grant supports research of new drug therapies

(BUFFALO, NY) — New research at Roswell Park Comprehensive Cancer Center (Roswell Park) with the goal of developing a drug that could stop the spread of breast cancer has received support from the Elsa U. Pardee Foundation through a $62,500 grant. Andrei Bakin, PhD, Assistant Professor of Oncology in the Department of Cancer Genetics at Roswell Park, will lead the research that seeks to better understand how a protein enzyme known as TAK1 can be manipulated to slow or stop the spread of breast cancer.

The TAK1 enzyme has been linked to the growth, spread and recurrence of tumors. By better understanding how the enzyme’s presence is linked to cancer progression and recurrence, Dr. Bakin and his team are working toward developing a more effective drug therapy that can stop TAK1 from facilitating the spread of breast cancer. It may also make breast cancer cells less resistant to treatment.

“In order to best attack breast cancer cells, we first need to understand what makes them develop and thrive,” said Dr. Bakin. “This generous grant from the Pardee Foundation will support our goal of finding a drug that will stop these cells from growing while causing as few side effects as possible for the patient.”

The Elsa U. Pardee Foundation supports research in the field of cancer and provides for others the advantages of new knowledge and techniques for the treatment of this related group of disabling and frequently lethal diseases.

The mission of Roswell Park Comprehensive Cancer Center is to understand, prevent and cure cancer. Roswell Park, 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 Roswell Park’s website at, call 1-800-ROSWELL (1-800-767-9355) or email

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Annie Deck-Miller, Senior Media Relations Manager