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1st November 2019

Dr Belle’s Fight to Save Lives

Dr Leila Belle

As part of Associate Professor Yeesim Khew-Goodall’s Cell Signalling Laboratory, Dr Belle’s work is homing in on triple negative breast cancer by identifying the mechanisms within cancer cells that cause them to spread and/or become resistant to current therapies.

“We have made major breakthroughs in identifying new pathways that are abnormally high in some cancer types, including those with limited treatment options such as triple negative breast cancers,” Dr Belle said.

“We are using these findings to work towards developing more effective treatments for patients with these cancers.”

Triple negative breast cancer is one of the most heartbreaking forms of breast cancer. Patients are treated by chemotherapy but there is no guarantee of success – and unfortunately the survival rate for unsuccessful chemotherapy remains only 12 months.

This scary reality is what drives Dr Belle to continue her fight to find a cure for triple negative breast cancer.

“We are working to increase our understanding of how the group of proteins we have identified might work together in some cancer types to increase resistance to current cancer therapies, and how we might screen for patients whose cancers display activation of this pathway,” Dr Belle said.

“We have developed an initial screening platform that, in combination with a computer-driven prediction programme, will enable us to identify candidate compounds that prevent activation of this pathway. We will then take these compounds and test their effectiveness in killing cancer cells.

“We are very hopeful that in time we may be able to develop a treatment that blocks this pathway.”

Dr Belle’s laboratory is critically reliant on funding and appreciates the support from people like you, who regularly donate to Australian Breast Cancer Research (ABCR).

“There’s a certain level of government funding you can apply for but that’s nowhere near enough to cover all the research activities.”

Thanks to our kind ABCR donors, this crucial breast cancer research can continue save the lives of our loved ones.

“Any contribution will make an incredible difference and will enable our ongoing quest to find cures for breast cancer and save lives.”