Esmee Koedoot is our Leiden Academic Centre for Drug Research's nominee for the C.J. Kok Jury Award 2019.
‘We unravelled the underlying mechanisms and identified new targets involved in breast cancer metastasis formation. Our discoveries could contribute to the development of new anti-cancer therapies that reduce breast cancer progression and increase patient survival.’
About Esmee's research
1 in 8 women gets breast cancer before reaching the age of 85, making breast cancer the most common cancer in women worldwide. In addition, breast cancer is also the most deadly type of cancer in women, mainly caused by metastases to indispensable organs such as the liver and lungs. Breast cancer can be subdivided into different subtypes by assessing genetic profiles but also based on so-called hormone receptors. These receptors are proteins that are located on the cell surface and transmit signals from hormones outside the cell to other proteins within the cell. Triple-negative breast cancer (TNBK) has very low levels of different hormone receptors and therefore, unlike the other subtypes, cannot be treated with anti-hormonal therapies. As a result, the current therapy for TNBK still consists of surgical removal of the tumor in combination with chemotherapy and/or radiation. Although TNBK accounts for only 15-20% of the total number of breast cancer patients, this subtype is responsible for the majority of breast cancer-related metastases and deaths. The aim of this thesis was to unravel the underlying processes involved in the spread of TNBK and thereby contribute to new targeted therapies for TNBK.