Jun 5, 2023

MBP scientist receives $3 million for breast cancer research

Photo of Dr. Rama Khokha
Dr. Rama Khokha

MBP professor Dr. Rama Khokha has been awarded $3 million in funding from Breast Cancer Canada to lead research focused on developing targeted prevention strategies for breast cancer in high-risk individuals.

The funding aims to address the limited preventive options available for high-risk patients, who are often young women with a family history and genetic predisposition to breast cancer. Currently, preventive measures for these individuals, such as mastectomy, are invasive and drastic. The goal of the research is to develop more precise prevention strategies tailored to different levels of breast cancer risk.

Dr. Khokha's research team, which includes collaborators such as MBP scientist Dr. Thomas Kislinger, focuses on studying abnormal stem cells that drive breast cancer development. By understanding the root causes of the molecular and structural changes in breast tissue, the team aims to develop molecularly targeted therapies.

The funding will allow Dr. Khokha and her team to expand their research capacity in three key areas: discovery, dissection, and targeting. They will analyze high-risk breast tissue to understand the heterogeneity of breast cancer and gain insights into precision care. The team will conduct deep molecular analysis of the tissue, including methylation analysis, proteomics, and metabolomics. They will also identify potential targets and drugs for breast cancer prevention through a drug screening process and the non-invasive detection of early breast cancer through liquid biopsies.

Learn more about this story on the Princess Margaret Research website.

Learn more about this story on the Breast Cancer Canada website.