University Of California - Berkeley
University of California-Berkeley Physical Sciences-Oncology Center (UCB PS-OC) will determine how mechanobiology influences tumorigenesis in breast cancer. This center’s primary focus will be on the triple negative subtype of basal breast cancer, which lacks the estrogen, progesterone, and Her2/neu receptors. Patients with this more aggressive, triple negative subtype have fewer treatment options and an overall poor prognosis. These investigators hypothesize that the malignant phenotype is maintained by exchanges with its microenvironment and that reversion can occur if these pressures are normalized. This center will also examine how mechanical signals trigger genetic changes that induce tumorigenesis. Groundbreaking force probes and imaging techniques will gauge the forces within breast cancer model systems. The integration of these state-of-the-art tools in the physical, theoretical and biological sciences will cultivate models of various interactions of the model systems with their microenvironment. Furthermore, cellular plasticity and reversion research will be executed and could lead to potential therapeutics targeted to the cellular microenvironment.