Iniciacion Fellow National Cancer Institute
Director: German Gil
PhD Thesis Topic
Participation of Tumor Associated Macrophages in endocrine resistance therapies in breast cancer
Despite the clinical benefits that endocrine therapies offers to patients with breast cancer, a significant proportion of these develop resistance to the therapies. It is known that Tumor Associated Macrophages (TAMs) promote tumor growth, but it is unknown if these play an important role in the development of endocrine resistance. In our laboratory we have obtained evidence suggesting that TAMs in addition to promote proliferation, migration and invasiveness of breast cancer cells, would be the main responsible for endocrine resistance. The general objective of our research project is to help to clear up the responsible mechanisms for intercommunication between breast tumor cells and TAMs that would lead to the resistance of these tumors to conventional endocrine therapies by identifying key proteins and/ or related genes to this process. The understanding of these mechanisms, would allow an access to a rational design of drugs to block this effect. We believe that if we attack in combination both cancer cells and the TAMs, the antitumor treatment will be more effective, but this will be possible only after obtaining an accurate description of this complex process.