Earlier this year, Catherine Steding, faculty member of The Center for Genomic Advocacy at Indiana State University (USA) began looking into how chemotherapeutic-resistant breast cancer cells develop during therapy, as well as how to prevent this resistance with different combinations of medicines. As well as researching the resistant cell lines, Steding is also actually generating them and examining the process through which the resistance develops.
“I think every woman on the planet has a personal association with either someone they love or someone they know having suffered through this disease. That really inspired me to be doing something for it,” commented Steding. “I’m not an MD, so I can’t work one-on-one with the patients. But I can certainly do anything I can to try to understand what is going on and see if maybe there is some way I can contribute to treating it.”
By generating chemotherapeutic-resistant cancer cell lines, researchers can then compare them to nonresistant cell lines, as well as study how to reverse the resistance or make the cells sensitive to other chemotherapeutic agents.
“I have always believed that treating cancer was going to require multiple approaches. Not one drug was ever going to do it,” Steding stated. “By doing these kinds of studies, we can start to identify if you have taken this drug in the past, it would be better if you take this combination now to treat your cancer.”
Steding hopes to take the research to the next level through collaboration with other researchers and will be applying for external funding.