Faculty Members Dr. Özgür Şahin and Dr. Ali Güre, of the Molecular Biology and Genetics Department, will develop a new gene-based diagnostic kit that predicts treatment response of the most aggressive breast cancers.
With high mortality and incidence rates, breast cancer is one of the most important health problems worldwide including Turkey. In the year 2012, 1.7 million people were diagnosed with breast cancer. And again in the year of 2012, 521,000 people died of breast cancer. Triple-negative breast cancer (TNBC) is the most aggressive subtype of breast cancers and it is highly metastatic compared to other subtypes. Currently, in the clinics chemotherapy is the only treatment option for TNBC; however, most of the patients develop primary or acquired resistance. The ultimate aim of the project is to develop a gene-based prototype theranostic kit (PTK) that classifies subgroups of TNBC patients according to chemotherapy response, and to guide the clinicians with the most suitable chemotherapy options for these subgroups. This theranostic kit is based on the analysis of no more than 15 genes from fresh-frozen or paraffin embedded TNBC tumor tissues with fluorescent labeled beads. Thus, it will be possible to determine which patient groups will respond to which chemotherapeutic drug(s).
With this large scale project supported in the scope of SAN-TEZ program funded by the Ministry of Science, Industry and Technology, it is aimed to enhance the university-industry collaboration and training of young scientists. The prototype diagnostic kit will be produced with a new technology by the partner company Onkogen. Members of Hacettepe University Faculty of Medicine are also part of this research team.