Grant ID RP200439
Awarded On February 19, 2020
Title Targeting AKT signaling in MAPK4-high Triple Negative Breast Cancer
Program Academic Research
Award Mechanism Individual Investigator
Institution/Organization Baylor College of Medicine
Principal Investigator/Program Director Feng Yang
Cancer Sites Breast
Contracted Amount $900,000*

*Pending contract negotiation

Lay Summary

About 15-20% of breast cancers are Triple negative (TNBC), a devastating disease with limited therapeutic options. A recent phase 2 clinical trial testing AKT inhibitor ipatasertib (IPAT) plus paclitaxel in TNBC has produced promising results. However, the PI3k-based markers (based on current knowledge) surprisingly failed to predict IPAT response. We discovered that MAPK4 activation provides an alternative pathway for AKT activation that is completely independent of the PI3K pathway. Currently, there is no MAPK4-specific inhibitor (although we have started to screen for one). However, our preliminary results suggest that MAPK4 activation of AKT is essential for growth of MAPK4-high TNBC can...

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