A new way to treat brain metastases of breast cancer
Faculdade de Farmácia da Universidade de Lisboa, Portugal
In 2021 breast cancer became the most common type of cancer globally, according to data published by the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC). Every year there are an estimated 132 cases per 100,000 inhabitants, most of them women. This type of primary tumour eventually generates brain metastases in 15-30 % of patients. In fact, breast cancer is the second most frequent cause of brain metastases, which can appear even a decade after the primary tumour has been successfully treated. The prognosis when this occurs is poor.
Despite recent advances in cancer treatments, including immunotherapy, brain tumours and brain metastases remain urgent unmet medical needs. This is largely because the mechanisms by which cancer cells escape from their primary site of origin and nest and proliferate in another distant organ are not fully understood. Moreover, the way the immune cells control the communication between the brain microenvironment and tumour cells, which eventually leads to metastasis, is still not fully elucidated.
The project focuses on analysing the interactions established between the tumour, the vascular system and the immune system in metastatic brain cancers. The goal is to pave the way for the design of a new nano-immunotherapy that can regulate the brain's immune function so that it prevents and treats brain metastases.
Ronit Satchi-Fainaro, Universidad de Tel Aviv, Israel
Multifunctional nano-immunotherapy against breast brain metastases