LSU Health Shreveport gets $1.4 million NIH grant to study breast cancer
Dr. Jun Chung and his team are looking at how cancer spreads.
SHREVEPORT, LA (KSLA) -
A LSU Health Shreveport doctor and his research team, already looking at ways to halt or otherwise intervene in the spread of cancer, will get big financial boost to their effort, courtesy of the federal government.
The National Institutes of Health, via its National Cancer Institute, will support Dr. Jun Chung's research effort with a five-year, $1.4 million grant, LSU Health officials announced Wednesday.
In studying the question of how cancer spreads, Chung and his team will study the role of a critical molecule, alpha6beta4 integrin, in breast cancer. When levels of this molecule are elevated in breast cancer, patients are more likely to die from their cancer. This is because the protein triggers breast cancer cells to spread from their origin to distant organs in the body.
No therapeutic means to target the protein has been developed. Chung hopes to be the first to develop a strategy to block the function of the protein.
Breast cancer is the most common cancer among women and the second leading cause of cancer death of women in the US.
An associate professor in the Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Chung has focused his research career on the biology of integrins and breast cancer.