Student Researcher: Katie Parkins, PhD Student, Western University
Project Title: A multimodality imaging model to study the impact of a primary breast tumour on brain metastasis and tumor dormancy
The majority of cancer-associated deaths are due to metastasis; the spread of cancer to distant sites. Approximately 15-25% of metastatic breast cancer patients develop brain metastases; therefore, the clinical need to better understand and prevent metastasis and cancer recurrence is high. The aim of this project is to study a mechanism known as concomitant tumour resistance (CTR) that may influence cancer recurrence and metastatic growth. CTR is the idea that a primary tumour can naturally inhibit the development of metastases. In this project, we will surgically remove the primary breast tumour in two different mouse models to see how this affects the development of brain metastases. We expect this research will produce important information about what influences metastatic tumour growth and possibly advance therapeutic development for breast cancer patients.