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The Breast Cancer Society of Canada

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Identifying high-risk lesions for more aggressive treatment

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milica krstic

MSc candidate Milica Krstic (left) with supervisors Ann Chambers, PhD and Alan Tuck, MD/PhD

Hey all! My name is Milica Krstic and I’m an MSc student in the Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine at Western University. I work at London Health Sciences Centre’s London Regional Cancer Program under the supervision of Drs. Ann Chambers and Alan Tuck.

The greatest concern for patients is the conversion of non-invasive cancer into invasive cancer. My lab has previously shown that breast cancer cells that are able to invade adjacent tissue have increased levels of a protein called TBX3. I’m trying to figure out the role of TBX3 in the progression of early breast cancer.

I’ve looked at what happens to cells’ invasive ability when we change the levels of TBX3 (up-regulate in non-invasive cells, down-regulate in invasive cells). I’ll shortly begin examining patient samples for TBX3 protein expression to see whether this may be used as a diagnostic of malignant potential. High-risk lesions can thus be identified for more aggressive treatment.

This study may lead to potential therapeutic targets and/or identify other novel targets of breast cancer therapy.

I presented the findings at the American Association for Cancer Research annual meeting in San Diego last year. I’m looking forward to the next conference where I’ll highlight my newest findings, receive helpful feedback and grow as a researcher.

Thank you to BCSC for your trainee support!
– Milica Krstic, MSc student
Pamela Greenaway-Kohlmeier Translational Breast Cancer Research Unit, London Health Sciences Centre

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