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Breast Cancer Research

The Breast Oncology program (Drs. Steven Come, Lowell Schnipper, Nadine Tung, Gerburg Wulf, Ralph Scully) is involved in clinical, basic and translational research activities. The Breast Oncology program is a key member of the Dana-Farber/Harvard Cancer Center (DF/HCC) Breast Cancer SPORE.

Dr. Come is involved in clinical trials in breast cancer, with a specific interest in endocrine therapy. Dr. Tung is interested in hereditary susceptibility genes, which cause breast and ovarian cancer.

Dr. Wulf's laboratory studies signal transduction in breast cancer, specifically the role of aberrant prolyl isomerization. Prolyl isomerization catalyzed by Pin1 is a post-phosphorylational regulatory mechanism that is important for signal transduction downstream from oncogenic Ras and Her2/Neu. Dr. Wulf's pre-clinical work has translated into a phase I study exploring the combination of Herceptin and Rad001 in metastatic Her2-positive breast cancer.

Dr. Scully's laboratory has as a major focus understanding how several tumor suppressor genes (BRCA1, BRCA2, the Bloom's Syndrome gene (BLM), Fanconi Anemia genes (FA) and histone H2AX) control sister chromatid recombination and how to relate this to their tumor suppressor functions. These studies may someday be applied for prevention and therapy of human cancers that carry BRCA1/2 mutations, such as breast cancer.