The Effect of Human Cytomegalovirus Infection on Hormone Receptor Expression in Breast Cancer
Breast cancer is the most commonly diagnosed cancer in women. One important strategy for treatment is to prevent the activation of hormone receptors. These receptors activate growth pathways upon ligand binding, and are therefore important therapeutic targets. One environmental factor that may affect expression of the hormone receptors is Human Cytomegalovirus (HCMV) infection. HCMV has been implicated in breast tumor progression and is more prevalent in breast tumor tissue than in normal breast tissue. Despite HCMV’s association with a more aggressive tumor phenotype, the effect of HCMV infection on hormone receptor expression is unclear. The goal of this project is to determine the effects of HCMV infection on the abundance of hormone receptors using multiple distinct breast cancer cell lines. If HCMV is found to reduce hormone receptor levels in breast cancer cells, the addition of antiviral medications to current standards of care may benefit patients and improve outcomes.
Creative Arts and Research Symposium