BACH1: A Novel Diagnostic Biomarker for Breast Cancer

Type of Award: catalyst
Award Number: C-091
Award Period: June 2019 - May 2021
Amount Awarded: $ 250,000.00
PI(s): Marsha Rosner, UChicago; Seema Khan, NU;

Abstract: One in eight women will develop breast cancer in their lifetime. Triple negative breast cancer (TNBC), a particularly aggressive form of breast cancer that has no targeted therapy, will affect twenty percent of these women. Thus, there is a desperate need for biomarkers that will predict treatment response. The Rosner lab has identified a biomarker, the transcription factor BACH1, that promotes metastasis and rewires tumor metabolism to be resistant to drug treatment. They have also identified an FDA-approved drug that inhibits BACH1 and sensitizes tumors to metabolic therapies such as metformin. Analysis of breast cancer patient tumor data suggests that the effectiveness of metformin can be predicted by BACH1 levels. To translate these observations to patients, we propose to develop an assay for patient selection and a limited metformin treatment of patients to demonstrate that the sensitivity of a patient’s breast cancer to metformin is predicted by BACH1.