Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Breast cancer advance wins $7.4m US award for Austrian Research Institute

22.10.2012
A new approach to possible future prevention of breast cancer and slowing the spread of tumours has won Austrian researcher Josef Penninger, director of the Institute of Molecular Biotechnology of the Austrian Academy of Sciences (IMBA) in Vienna, a $7.4 million innovator’s award to continue his research, from the USA’s Congressionally Directed Medical Research Program.

The innovator’s award recognises Josef Penninger’s work in identifying a key molecular pathway how hormone replacement therapies and contraceptive pills can lead to breast cancer. His team provided the first genetic proof that a protein called RANKL is the master regulator of bone loss, which has contributed to the development of a novel drug already approved for the treatment of osteoporosis and skeletal related events in multiple cancers.

He was also the first to discover that RANKL not only regulates bone loss but is absolutely essential to enable sex hormone driven lactation in pregnant females, a finding that could explain further the connection between sex hormones and bone loss. Based on these groundbreaking findings, Penninger’s group went on to show that RANKL is indeed a missing link between sex hormones, in particular the sex hormone progesterone, and breast cancer, leading to the hypothesis that RANKL is a key driver of breast cancer initiation.

In addition, Penninger’s group has developed entirely novel genetics tools, so-called haploid stem cells, to quickly assess the function of specific genes that cause breast cancer and help tumours to spread. “This is the next step in the post genome era of cancer”, says Prof Josef Penninger. “We will use our new technologies to rapidly check the function of hundreds or even thousands of human breast cancer gene candidates”. The Austrian researchers expect to verify new breast cancer pathways, which they hope will quickly lead to a major impact in preventing and treating the disease.

Supported by the $7.4 million award, Josef Penninger intends to further use this knowledge to develop a new diagnostic method that helps in making predictions concerning the chances that any patient will develop breast cancer. At risk patients will then be able to start preventative treatment using the existing RANK ligand-blocking medicines. Josef Penninger adds: “If our experimental data could be extrapolated to humans, which is what we strongly believe, then we might have an entirely novel way of early breast cancer detection and, since RANKL inhibition is already used in patients, we even would have a medicine within immediate reach that could be used to possibly prevent the disease in those women at high risk”.

ENDS

IMBA:
The Institute of Molecular Biotechnology (IMBA) combines fundamental and applied research in the field of biomedicine. Interdisciplinary research groups address functional genetic questions, particularly those related to the origin of disease. IMBA is a subsidiary of the Austrian Academy of Sciences, the leading organization promoting non-university academic basic research in Austria. Earlier this year IMBA was voted as second to top international workplace for postdoctoral researchers, by readers of the US based and online life sciences magazine, The Scientist.
Contact:
Evelyn Devuyst
IMBA Communications
Phone: +43 1 79730 3626
evelyn.devuyst@imba.oeaw.ac.at
References:
Schramek et al. (2010). Osteoclast differentiation factor RANKL controls development of progestin-driven mammary cancer. Nature. 468(7320):98-102
IMBA press release from 2010: „Researchers find how HRT and the Pill can lead to breast cancer and suggest possible treatment“

http://www.imba.oeaw.ac.at/uploads/media/presstext100929-breast_cancer.pdf

Innovator Award:
Josef Penninger was awarded with the Innovator Award for his project “Novel Approaches to Breast Cancer Prevention and Inhibition of Metastases” (contract number W81XWH-12-1-0093) through the US Department of Defense. Congressionally Directed Medical Research Program: http://cdmrp.army.mil/bcrp/

Evelyn Devuyst | idw
Further information:
http://www.oeaw.ac.at

More articles from Awards Funding:

nachricht Heraeus Noblelight Gains Queen’s Award For Enterprise In The Innovation Category
22.04.2015 | Heraeus Noblelight GmbH

nachricht Thomas Wollert receives Eppendorf Award for Young European Investigators
20.04.2015 | Max-Planck-Institut für Biochemie

All articles from Awards Funding >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Fast and Accurate 3-D Imaging Technique to Track Optically-Trapped Particles

KAIST researchers published an article on the development of a novel technique to precisely track the 3-D positions of optically-trapped particles having complicated geometry in high speed in the April 2015 issue of Optica.

Daejeon, Republic of Korea, April 23, 2015--Optical tweezers have been used as an invaluable tool for exerting micro-scale force on microscopic particles and...

Im Focus: NOAA, Tulane identify second possible specimen of 'pocket shark' ever found

Pocket sharks are among the world's rarest finds

A very small and rare species of shark is swimming its way through scientific literature. But don't worry, the chances of this inches-long vertebrate biting...

Im Focus: Drexel materials scientists putting a new spin on computing memory

Ever since computers have been small enough to be fixtures on desks and laps, their central processing has functioned something like an atomic Etch A Sketch, with electromagnetic fields pushing data bits into place to encode data.

Unfortunately, the same drawbacks and perils of the mechanical sketch board have been just as pervasive in computing: making a change often requires starting...

Im Focus: Exploding stars help to understand thunderclouds on Earth

How is lightning initiated in thunderclouds? This is difficult to answer - how do you measure electric fields inside large, dangerously charged clouds? It was discovered, more or less by coincidence, that cosmic rays provide suitable probes to measure electric fields within thunderclouds. This surprising finding is published in Physical Review Letters on April 24th. The measurements were performed with the LOFAR radio telescope located in the Netherlands.

How is lightning initiated in thunderclouds? This is difficult to answer - how do you measure electric fields inside large, dangerously charged clouds? It was...

Im Focus: On the trail of a trace gas

Max Planck researcher Buhalqem Mamtimin determines how much nitrogen oxide is released into the atmosphere from agriculturally used oases.

In order to make statements about current and future air pollution, scientists use models which simulate the Earth’s atmosphere. A lot of information such as...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

HHL Energy Conference on May 11/12, 2015: Students Discuss about Decentralized Energy

23.04.2015 | Event News

“Developing our cities, preserving our planet”: Nobel Laureates gather for the first time in Asia

23.04.2015 | Event News

HHL's Entrepreneurship Conference on FinTech

13.04.2015 | Event News

 
Latest News

Strong Evidence – New Insight in Muscle Function

27.04.2015 | Life Sciences

The Future of Oil and Gas: Last of Her Kind

27.04.2015 | Power and Electrical Engineering

Tiny Lab Devices Could Attack Huge Problem of Drug-Resistant Infections

27.04.2015 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>