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10.21.2014

Breast Cancer Researcher to Study Personalized Treatment Using Multi-Hormone Combinations

Tan A. Ince, M.D., Ph.D., associate professor of pathology and member of the University of Miami’s Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center, has received a $250,000 grant from the Breast Cancer Research Foundation (BCRF) to research personalized treatment of breast tumors with multi-hormone combinations.

Ince, who is also a researcher at the Interdisciplinary Stem Cell Institute, focuses his clinical and research interests on the role of normal cell-of-origin in determining tumor phenotype and tumor stem cell biology and is involved in several translational research projects in breast and ovarian cancer.

“In 2014 alone, 232,670 new cases of invasive breast cancer will be diagnosed,” said Ince. “Through the BCRF grant, we can work toward personalized treatment of breast tumors with multi-hormone combinations, which ultimately can be used as practical therapies for breast cancer.”

Ince has been actively researching the role of non-genetic factors in the development of cancer through grants from BCRF for nearly a decade. In 2007, he concluded that identical mutations gave rise to different tumors in two different normal breast cells. Expanding upon scientific discoveries over the past years, Ince and his team have identified at least 11 distinct breast cell subtypes and discovered that the cell types are epigenetically distinct, and express different combinations of hormone receptors for estrogen, testosterone and vitamin D. Ince published new cell-type based breast cancer classifications in 2014.

The funding from the new grant supports Momentum2: The Breakthrough Campaign for the University of Miami, and will allow Ince to continue to make strides in non-chemotherapeutic treatment of breast cancer. Moving forward, he is working toward personalized treatment of breast tumors with multi-hormone combinations.

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