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Taking Aim at Breast Cancer

UC Cancer Institute Experts Zeroing in on Cancer Causes

The stakes are high when it comes to breast cancer research. And with an estimated 1 in 8 U.S. women likely to develop invasive breast cancer in her lifetime, making quick advancements in treatment has never been more important. Researchers at the University of Cincinnati Cancer Institute have their sights set on developing the next generation of cancer-fighting drugs. Their targets: proteins linked to breast cancer development, recurrence and drug resistance.

Dr. Susan Waltz and Dr. Xiaoting Zhang, experts in cancer cell biology, have each discovered critical, cellular level players in the cancer fight, and they are now taking aim. Waltz is zeroing in on a protein linked to breast cancer recurrence, and by targeting its make-up, she and her team could revolutionize current breast cancer treatment regimens. Zhang is focused on a protein first identified in his lab that plays a critical role in the development of one of the most aggressive forms of breast cancer. By targeting this protein using RNA nanotechnology, Zhang and team hope to develop more effective treatments for a type of cancer that’s often treatment-resistant.

Nationally recognized for their work—by both the Department of Defense and National Institutes of Health—Waltz and Zhang have built their research teams right here in Cincinnati. The two work alongside the clinicians at UC Health to deliver the most cutting-edge treatments possible. Together, they’re taking discoveries in the lab and translating them into real treatments that are saving and improving lives.

“Our experts are looking toward the future of breast cancer treatment,” says Dr. Elyse Lower, UC Health oncologist, director of the UC Cancer Institute’s Breast Cancer Center and professor in the Division of Hematology Oncology at the UC College of Medicine. “With talented researchers in the lab who are looking for ways to deter cancer before it even develops, and working closely with clinicians who deliver targeted, personalized treatment to patients, we are striving to make cancer a diagnosis of the past.”

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