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Projects. Life and Earth Sciences

The inhibition of fatty acid syntase lipogenic enzyme (FASN) as a new therapeutic strategy for the treatment of triple negative breast cancer

Lead Researcher:
Teresa Puig Miquel

Research Centre:
Facultad de Medicina. Universidad de Girona.

Abstract: 

Teresa Puig MiquelTriple negative breast cancer (TNBC) represents 20% of diagnosed breast cancers and it is characterised by expressing neither hormonal receptors nor HER2. TNBC patients have a poor prognosis, given that there is now no therapy for this, and reappearance of the tumour and progression of the disease occur in a high percentage (45%) of cases. Due to this, research is taking place into new agents and therapeutic strategies. Previous data from our research group have shown that the inhibition of lipogenesis by fatty acid syntase (FASN), has an antitumoural function and increases the power of chemotherapy and immunotherapy in models of breast and lung cancer. In a recent study which the group presented to the world breast cancer congress (SABCS, Texas, USA) we observed the overexpression of FASN in samples from TNBC patients. Our objective is therefore based on the molecular and functional characterisation of the role of FASN in cell models and murine models implanted with samples from TNBC patients, with the aim of proposing new and more effective therapeutic strategies based on the inhibition of FASN (alone or in combination) for the treatment of TNBC patients. Parallel to this, we will develop cellular models of TNBC resistant to current treatments, for subsequent molecular and genetic analysis of the role played by the metabolism of fatty acids in these resistant models, with the aim of extending the study of the impact of FASN to TNBC patients who are chemoresistant.



Teresa Puig Miquel

She prepared her doctoral thesis between the Genetic Therapy Laboratory of the Institut de Recerca Oncológica (Hospital Duran y Reynals, Barcelona) and the Haematology Laboratory of Dr. Bueren in CIEMAT (Madrid). Once she completed her doctoral thesis in 2002, she gained a postdoctoral MECD grant to join the Research Group on "Metabolism and Cancer" in the Instituto Catalán de Oncología (ICO) of the Hospital Dr. Josep Trueta, Girona, co-leading the Project: "Antitumour effects of new derivatives of the EGCG". In 2005, Dr. Puig was awarded a Juan de la Cierva research contract and was able to consolidate her own line of research. She has worked on many competitive projects (ISCIII, MEC, RETICS and MCINN), leading several of them (ISCIII, MEC, MCINN, RETOS-MINECO) as well as pharmaceutical industry contracts (Pfizer, Wyeth, Italfármaco). Dr. Puig has published more than 30 original papers in high impact journals (Blood, Clin Cancer Research) and possesses three patents, one of which has been transferred to the industry. The Project led by Dr. Puig has received several prizes: Sociedad Española de Oncología Médica (SEOM2007), Premio Instituto de Investigación Biomédica de Girona (IDIBGi2007) and the Premio Nacional Clàudia Elies (Fundación ICO2009). Dr. Puig has collaborated in several national and international projects. She is currently Professor in the Faculty of Medicine in the University of Girona, where she is directing five doctoral theses and leads the multicentre research: New Therapeutic Targets Laboratory (TargetsLab) centred on developing new targets and therapeutic strategies for breast and lung cancer.


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