All ETDs from UAB

Advisory Committee Chair

Yuhua Song

Advisory Committee Members

John Mountz

Tong Zhou

Document Type

Thesis

Date of Award

2013

Degree Name by School

Master of Science in Biomedical Engineering (MSBME) School of Engineering

Abstract

With the exclusion of skin cancers, breast cancer is the most common malignancy among American women and is the second leading cause of cancer death in the United States. The disease affects an estimated 1.3 million women annually worldwide. Some breast cancer cells have developed mechanisms of circumventing drug treatment. Clinical needs for breast cancer cell sensitization to anti-cancer drugs include the targeted, controlled killing of cancer cells. An agonistic death receptor 5 (DR5) antibody, TRA-8, has been proven effective in inducing cancer cell death via the intrinsic and extrinsic tumor necrosis factor-related apoptosis-inducing ligand apoptotic pathways. Combining TRA-8 treatment with another chemotherapeutic agent has been shown to reverse cancer cell resistance to TRA-8. The goal of this study is to understand the effect of the combined treatment of TRA-8 and a common breast cancer drug, tamoxifen (TMX), on breast cancer cell apoptosis. It is hypothesized that the combination treatment of TMX and TRA-8 will sensitize breast cancer cells to apoptosis. The first specific aim is to characterize in vitro cell apoptosis with the combined drug treatment of TMX and TRA-8 for a receptor-status diverse group of breast cancer cell lines. The second specific aim is to determine the molecular mechanisms underlying sensitization of breast cancer cells to TMX and TRA-8 treatment. Insight from this study can potentially be used to increase chemotherapeutic drug efficacy and enhance targeted anti-cancer cell treatments.

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