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07 Apr 2020

Estée Lauder Award for novel breast cancer research project

Garvan congratulates PhD student Sarah Alexandrou who was awarded the annual Breast Cancer Award from Estée Lauder Companies.

The annual award funds a young breast cancer researcher to undertake an innovative project which tests a novel early stage idea, in order to gather the preliminary evidence needed to apply for competitive peer-reviewed funding and government grants.

Ms Alexandrou, a PhD student in the Replication and Genome Stability Laboratory, will use the $15,000 award to investigate the mechanisms of resistance in combination therapy in advanced/metastatic oestrogen receptor positive (ER+) breast cancer to help discover why resistance develops, and to guide the development of effective patient treatment when resistance emerges.

Currently, hormone (endocrine) therapy combined with CDK4/6 inhibitors is effective in controlling the progression of metastatic breast cancer, extending and improving the life of breast cancer patients. However, inevitably, fatal resistance to this combination treatment occurs. Using single-cell genomics technology, Ms Alexandrou will use this award to firstly develop a signature of endocrine-CDK4/6 combination resistance, then identify the genes responsible for resistance that are able to be targeted through treatment options.

Estée Lauder Companies have been campaigning for a breast cancer-free world for almost 30 years: the iconic Pink Ribbon was co-created by Evelyn H. Lauder in 1992. We are incredibly appreciative of Estée Lauder Companies’ ongoing support for breast cancer research programs at Garvan.