Research project

KAUST University - Computational identification of drugs inhibiting breast cancer stem cells by inducing differentiation (DSB.AD001.179)

Thematic area

Biomedical sciences

Project area

Oncologia e Immunologia (DSB.AD001)

Structure responsible for the research project

Institute Experimental Endocrinology and Oncology "Gaetano Salvatore" (IEOS)

Project manager

Phone number: 0817463605


According to ever-increasing amount of evidence, the majority of human tumors are initiated and
maintained by a population of cells that display stem-like properties. Such cells, termed cancer stem
cells (CSCs), may mediate tumor metastasis and relapse, thus representing a potentially effective
therapeutic target towards long-term remission. Differentiation therapy, which aims at targeting CSC
stemness, represents a paradigmatic case in Acute Myeloid Leukemia (AML), but holds a tremendous
therapeutic hope for the treatment of solid tumors as well, such as metastatic breast cancer. The aim of
this project is to identify drugs that are able to induce differentiation of breast CSCs by using an
innovative machine learning method based on the analysis of large collections of untreated and drugtreated
gene expression profiles (GEPs). We will predict and experimentally test a set of molecules for
their ability to induce differentiation of breast cancer stem cells and exert synergistic effects with
existing therapeutic agents.

Start date of activity




Last update: 04/12/2023