Steroids: salvation or damnation?
Lead researcher: Dr Andrew Holding, Department of Biology
Steroids, in particular glucocorticoid steroids, are a vital anti-inflammatory treatment for cancer patients. Unfortunately, recent research has shown they also promote survival and metastasis of breast cancer cells.
This is a critical medical challenge. While outcomes for many breast cancer patients are considered favourable, sometimes the tumour metastasises, spread to other parts of the body. Once metastasis occurs, patient survival sharply declines. Unfortunately, stopping steroids use is not an option, because they provide essential relief to side-effects of treatment and disease.
To meet this challenge, Dr Holding’s research group aims to understand why different cell types display different responses to steroid treatment. The research will represent the first step in developing strategies that keep the anti-inflammatory effects of steroids while preventing breast cancer metastasis.
- Holding et al., Genome Biol., 2019
- Papachristou et al., Nat. Comms., 2018
- Guertin et al., NAR, 2018 & Holding et al., eLife, 2018