Novel treatments to enhance chemotherapy response in triple negative breast cancer


Research Area:


What is the research about?

The need for the proposed research
15% of all breast cancer cases are triple negative. Compared to other breast cancer types, this form is more aggressive. In addition, it has fewer treatment options. Chemotherapy is used to successfully treat triple negative breast cancer. However, many patients experience relapse. This returning cancer is harder to treat due to changes within the cancer cell allowing them to resist treatment, leading the cancer to become life-threatening. Currently, we do not understand the changes that promote relapse in triple negative breast cancer.


What the research aims to achieve
We are currently planning a funding application to conduct research that aims to improve our knowledge in triple negative breast cancer. Examining changes that promote relapse to chemotherapy. As well as developing a new treatment targeting this change to prevent relapse.


The methodological approach
In every cell there are tiny gateways that permit atoms to pass in and out. One important atom in the cell is calcium. High levels of calcium inside the cell help kill cancer cells when treated. We have shown that these gateways do not work in certain triple negative breast cancer cells. Resulting in low levels of calcium inside cancer cells, enabling them to survive following treatment. This change could be linked chemotherapy resistance. Which could be targeted to prevent relapse.


We plan to explore the mechanisms driving dysfunctional calcium inside triple negative breast cancer cells. Using this novel information we aim to develop a drug delivery system that will target the identified mechanism and simultaneously enhance chemotherapy delivery.


Our PPI plans
We are seeking PPI partners to contribute to the grant application and subsequent research project, if funded. The PPI contributors will be regularly involved in the project from its inception as well as its evolution throughout the duration of the project. We are looking to involve people with direct experience of a triple negative breast cancer diagnosis or a close family member.


Opportunity for:

Person living with condition / Parent or carer

Involvement Opportunity Details


Time commitment:

During grant writing, up to 3x1.5 hour meetings online. If funded, we will have up to 4 x 1.5 hour meetings per year for 3 years

Contact between meetings:

Regular email

Length of involvement:

3 months initially, if funded, 3 years

Start date for involvement:




Online / In Person

If online, explain how:


If in person, explain where:

Dublin City University, Glasnevin campus, Collins Avenue, Dublin 9.

Other ways of communicating:


Funding available for:

PPI contributor’s time

If no funding available, explain why:

Not applicable

Other Information

Stage of the research study/ programme:

Early planning

Is this opportunity for PPI in a PhD:


Closing date to contact researchers:


Research Team

Contact person:

Dr Paul Buchanan


Dublin City University

Contact email:

Researcher background:


Research funder:

Breast Cancer Now


Interested in this PPI Opportunity?

Please complete this form and click SUBMIT

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