Analyzing metastasis through targeted miRNA nanotherapy in aggressive breast cancer
Mentor: Zdravka Medarova, PhD (Massachusetts General Hospital)
About one in eight U.S. women will develop invasive breast cancer sometime in their lifespan. Therefore, my project is focusing on identifying the miRNA that has the most significant role in the differentiation in gene expression during the transition from primary tumor to metastasis. The goal is to be able to mimic current cancer treatment by removing the primary tumor from the models and then using targeted miRNA nanotherapy in order to inhibit and regress the metastasis of the cancer. MicroRNAs are small, conserved RNA molecules that play an important role in the regulation of gene expression. Mi-RNA’s act at the post-transcriptional level and have been found to have key roles in a wide range of processes such as gene silencing, cell cycle control including apoptosis, differentiation/maintenance of tissue identity and more. Therefore, it is clear that the manipulation of and understanding miRNA expression presents a chance to treat well known cancers such as breast cancer.