Dr. Daniel Flynn from The Commonwealth Medical College said, "We discovered a protein back in 1991 that we thought played a role in cancer and as we dug deeper we found it was important in breast cancer."
It's so important that The National Institute of Health recently awarded TCMC its first research project grant.
It's for $1.25-million dollars.
It allows Principal Investigator Doctor Daniel Flynn and Co-Investigator Doctor Jess Cunnick to continue their research over the next five years.
Dr. Flynn said, "We understand how the protein works, so now we're at the point of making a drug against it."
The drug would help manage breast cancer tumors and keep them from metastasizing.
It would block the interaction of the protein and keep the cells from spreading.
It could also help oncologists understand why some therapies fail in some women.
President and Dean of TCMC Doctor Robert D'Alessandri said, "If we can identify that treatment that stops the spread early on, then I think we can attack the 10 or 15 percent that treatment may not be an effective force. We think this is a very important discovery."
According to the American Cancer Society, 9,380 new breast cancer cases were diagnosed in 2009.
More than 2,000 women have died from it just this year. This research could change those statistics.
"I have medicinal chemists creating the prototype drug, so I think we'll have something we can work with this year, and at the end of 2010 we'll have a lead compound," said Dr. Flynn.
That's a solid commitment that could help save lives right here in Northeastern Pennsylvania.
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