Estrogen is crucial to human life for men and women, but once a woman enters menopause, excess estrogen can lead to breast cancer. Up to 80 percent of the breast cancers detected in women after menopause are triggered and proliferated by estrogen, explains Debashis Ghosh, PhD.
Ghosh, a professor of pharmacology, collaborates with Juntao Luo, PhD, assistant professor of pharmacology, about ways to deliver new inhibitors of aromatase, the molecule that makes estrogen, to the tumor sites in animal breast cancer models. Having elucidated the molecular mechanism of how aromatase works, the Ghosh group has designed novel aromatase inhibitors, which are being tested in his lab.
“Some of our compounds have performed better, much better in breast cancer cells than the current drug, which is known as Aromasin or exemestane,” says Ghosh. The next step would be testing the compounds in laboratory animals.
Ghosh is one of dozens of Upstate researchers who have received grants from the Carol M. Baldwin Breast Cancer Research Fund of CNY since 2002.