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​AACR-Triple Negative Breast Cancer Foundation Career Development Award for Clinical/Translational Research

The AACR-Triple Negative Breast Cancer Foundation Career Development Award for Clinical/Translational Research represents a joint effort to encourage and support junior faculty to conduct triple negative breast cancer research and establish a successful career path in this field. Eligibility is limited to junior faculty who, at the start of the grant term, will have completed their most recent doctoral degree or medical residency within the past 11 years. The research proposed for funding must be clinical or translational in nature and must have direct applicability and relevance to triple negative breast cancer.

2015 Grantee

Eddy S. Yang, MD, PhD
Associate Professor
The University of Alabama at Birmingham
Birmingham, Alabama
Exploiting TNBC vulnerabilities via rationally combined therapies

Triple negative breast cancer is an aggressive disease with poor prognosis and few targeted therapeutic options. We previously demonstrated an induced synthetic lethality in human triple negative breast cancer cells in vitro and in vivo using the combined EGFR and PARP inhibitors lapatinib and veliparib, respectively. Importantly, a pilot clinical trial testing lapatinib and veliparib in patients with metastatic triple negative breast cancer is currently underway, with planned tumor biopsies for translational work. In this proposal, we aim to understand the underlying mechanisms of this potential novel therapeutic regimen. In particular, we will investigate how EGFR, PARP1, and BRCA1 act to regulate homologous recombination DNA repair and other tumor pathways. Additionally, using tissues obtained from our clinical trial assessing the feasibility and tolerability of lapatinib and veliparib in patients with metastatic triple negative breast cancer, exploratory analysis of DNA repair pathways involving EGFR, PARP1, and BRCA1 will be examined using standard immunohistochemistry and targeted gene expression profiling via the Nanostring nCounter platform. Ultimately, these studies, if successful, will lead to future studies that may greatly impact the treatment of patients with triple negative breast cancer by understanding triple negative breast cancer biology in the context of targeted therapy.

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