Killing Breast Cancer Cells through "Death Induced by CD95R/L Elimination" (DICE)

Project: Research project

Project Details


The goals of the project are to test whether knocking down Fas or FasL can be used to kill breast cancer stem cells. Breast cancer once metastasized has only seen incremental improvement in treatment outcome in recent decades. One possible tool for cancer therapy could be the death receptor Fas and its ligand FasL. Stimulation of Fas instructs cancer cells to commit suicide. However, we recently realized that not the stimulation of Fas but surprisingly its elimination causes all cancer cells to die without affecting normal cells in a process we called DICE. We found that DICE works best in a subset of cancer cells, so called cancer stem cells which can form when we eliminate small molecules called miRNA 200. We propose to exploit the DICE mechanism and to develop a new form of therapy to kill breast cancer cells in a two punch system: First, force the cancer cells to become cancer stem cells by inhibiting miRNA 200 and second induce DICE to eliminate them. This new model of cancer therapy will be tested in the test tube as well as in mouse models of breast cancer with the goal to develop this into a new treatment for breast cancer patients with advanced disease.
Effective start/end date9/1/132/28/15


  • Northwestern Memorial Hospital (Awarded 9-12-13)


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