Targeting chemoresistance in triple negative breast cancers

Ann-Sophie Gironne, co-supervision with Geneviève Deblois

Breast cancer is the most common and one of the deadliest cancers among women worldwide. Due to a lack of targeted therapy, patients presenting the triple-negative subtype are treated with chemotherapeutic agents. Despite the presence of an initial response, almost 60% of patients develop resistance and present residual disease after surgery, which is associated with an increased risk of metastases. A better understanding of the mechanisms favoring the development of resistance to chemotherapy is necessary to improve the efficacy of this treatment. Certain chemotherapeutic agents have been identified as being responsible for epigenetic modifications resulting in the expression of families of transposable elements. Once expressed, they naturally adopt a double-stranded RNA conformation and accumulate in the cell, thus triggering a signaling pathway leading to cell death of cancer cells. My project therefore aims to identify non-coding RNAs and families of transposable elements induced during the response to chemotherapy as well as to study their contribution to the development of resistance to treatments with the aim of developing new treatments and thus improve the prognosis of patients with triple negative breast cancer.