Dana Farber Cancer Institute
Physician, Medical Oncology
Dana-Farber Cancer Institute
American Association for Cancer Research
Preventing relapse and recurrence in patients with HER2-positive breast cancer.
The treatment of HER2-positive breast cancer with targeted therapies has improved patient outcomes, but relapse and recurrence still occur. Tumors can shrink with effective therapy; however, some cancer cells develop drug resistance and survive, known as residual disease (RD). Dr. Kabraji’s American Association for Cancer Research work, supported by BCRF, is focused on targeting and eliminating RD after HER2-positive breast cancer treatment, which could ultimately lead to novel therapeutic strategies to prevent recurrence.
In earlier work, Dr. Kabraji has shown that RD is made up of “sleeping” quiescent cancer cells (QCCs) that dampen the anti-tumor immune response. In the last year, he and his team have found specific genetic alterations within these cancer cells are associated with this dampening.
Dr. Kabraji and his team will continue to uncover how QCCs suppress the anti-tumor response. They will also test a drug that targets QCCs combined with immunotherapy, which stimulates the anti-tumor immune response and may prevent tumors from recurring. Dr. Kabraji’s work will help identify patients at risk for RD and may ultimately lead to new treatments to prevent relapse and recurrence in patients with HER2-positive breast cancer.
Sheheryar Kabraji, BMBCh received his medical degree from Oxford University Medical School and completed internal medicine residency at Massachusetts General Hospital. As a medical oncology fellow in the Dana-Farber/Partners Hematology/Oncology Fellowship Program, he undertook postdoctoral research in the laboratory of Dr. Sridhar Ramaswamy at the Mass General Cancer Center where he demonstrated that AKTlow quiescent cancer cells can be found in residual breast tumors after neoadjuvant chemotherapy. Dr Kabraji is a breast medical oncologist at the Susan F. Smith Center for Women’s Cancers, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, and Instructor in Medicine at Harvard Medical School. Dr Kabraji’s research in the Zhao Laboratory at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute focuses on cancer cell quiescence as a mechanism of tumor drug resistance in localized and metastatic breast cancer.
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