TAMPA, Fla.Moffitt Cancer Center recently announced that Andriy Marusyk, Ph.D., was awarded a $450,000 research grant from Susan G. Komen. Marusyk is receiving one of 37 research grants looking into novel treatments for aggressive types of breast cancer. This year Komen is focusing on new treatments and understanding of the most lethal forms and stages of breast cancer.

Marusyk is studying how cancer associated fibroblasts (CAFs), a type of cell that surrounds tumors, decreases the effectiveness of therapies against triple negative breast cancer. Triple negative breast cancer means that the breast cancer cells test negative for estrogen receptors, progesterone receptors and HER2. This causes the cells to not respond to hormonal therapy or therapies that target HER2 receptors.

Marusyk will investigate if CAFs are predictors of treatment response and potential ways to overcome drug resistance. His research is centered on the characterization of interactions between the malignant cells and tumor associated fibroblasts with the aim of developing means to overcome stromal resistance to anti-cancer therapies.

About 10-20 percent of patients who are diagnosed breast cancer have triple negative disease. Triple negative tumors are often aggressive and have a poorer prognosis for the first five years after diagnosis. This form of breast cancer is more likely to affect younger people.

Marusyk’s research will help the long-term goal of reducing breast cancer deaths dramatically in the United States.

About Moffitt Cancer Center
Moffitt is dedicated to one lifesaving mission: to contribute to the prevention and cure of cancer. The Tampa-based facility is one of only 49 National Cancer Institute-designated Comprehensive Cancer Centers, a distinction that recognizes Moffitt’s excellence in research, clinical trials, prevention and cancer control. Moffitt is listed as one of the top 10 cancer hospitals in the nation and has been listed in U.S. News & World Report as one of the “Best Hospitals” for cancer care since 1999. Moffitt devotes more than 2 million square feet to research and patient care. Moffitt’s expert nursing staff is recognized by the American Nurses Credentialing Center with Magnet® status, its highest distinction. With more than 5,600 team members, Moffitt has an economic impact in the state of $2.1 billion. For more information, call 1-888-MOFFITT (1-888-663-3488), visit MOFFITT.org, and follow the momentum on Facebook, Twitter and YouTube