Wise published in journal for breast cancer research

Wednesday, September 6, 2017

Advancing cancer treatments have extended hope to those diagnosed within the past several years, and Sterling College Assistant Professor of Chemistry Randi Wise is working to find a way to treat patients with a specific subtype of breast cancer. Co-authored by Dr. Anna Zolkiewska of Kansas State University, their research will be published in the medical journal Breast Cancer Research and Treatment later this fall and is currently available as an Online First article.

Wise and Zolkiewska are working to understand the signaling pathways responsible for the increased aggressiveness of triple negative breast cancer cells. Triple negative cancer cells do not have estrogen, progesterone, and HER-2 receptors, making chemotherapy the only available treatment.

“By manipulating the functionality of certain enzymes within a triple negative breast cancer cell and by looking at the expression of two proteins which can serve as an indication of the aggressiveness of the cancer cells, we were able to determine that these enzymes play important roles in maintaining the aggressiveness of these cells,” said Wise.

“By understanding the pathways, new diagnostic testing and treatment options can begin to be developed. The goal would be to find a better way to treat triple-negative breast cancer than with the sole use of chemotherapy. There has been a lot of research in this area, but viable alternative treatments have not yet been developed,” said Wise.

Their peer-reviewed article is titled, “Metalloprotease-dependent activation of EGFR modulates CD44+ /CD24- populations in triple negative breast cancer cells through the MEK/ERK pathway.”

Wise is in her first year of teaching at Sterling College. She is working on her Ph.D. in Biochemistry through Kansas State University and has a bachelor’s degree in chemistry and biology from Sterling College. She has been working on cancer research for more than three years.