Our current research goals is to develop novel therapeutic approaches for breast cancer, especially, triple negative breast cancer (TNBC) and translate preclinical findings to clinical trials. To date designing a treatment plan for patients diagnosed with TNBC is challenging with the poorest survival prognosis among other molecular subtypes of breast cancer. We are intending to map complete networks of genetic and molecular interactions to decode the mechanisms of immune suppression in TNBC, and how the changing of these networks propagates tumorigenesis in patients. In line of this research approach, we have established the role of developmental signalling molecule sonic hedgehog (Shh) in TNBC progression for the first time and described its association with tumor regulatory cytokines (Sci Rep, 2016, 2017). Our primary interest is to understand the genomic landscape and other networks to identify potent immune regulators, tumor-specific antigens and neoepitopes directly from the patients. To achieve this aim, in collaboration with several group from McGill University, we are utilizing high throughput analysis of expression profile of immune genes and validation of their networks during tumor progression at recurrence with the goal to identify novel therapeutic targets and develop diagnostic tools for TNBC and other cancer including aggressive brain cancer glioblastoma multiforme (gbm) and head and neck squamous cell carcinoma (HNSCC).
Currently, we are also tring to understand the role of microRNAs in chemoradiation regulation in breast cancer. Initally, we have targeted a microRNA cluster named miR-424(322)-503 which is reported to play a crucial role in breast cancer progression and to induce chemoresistance in mice model. Therefore, we are intending to understand and characterize miR-424(322)-503 in human breast tumor sample to propose targeted therapy-based combinations to block the activity of IGF1R and BCL-2 and effectively reverse chemoresistance.
Besides, we are anticipating fulfilling the current needs of cancer management at global standard, especially establishing a cancer database to address the challenges of central importance to improve outcomes for people affected by cancer. Therefore, together with the cooperation of BNCMRC/BMRC, we have designed to start a historical initiative in Bangladesh for establishing a Cancer Genome Atlas (proposed name BCGA: Bangladesh Cancer Genome Atlas) for the very first time at the aim of creating a comprehensive cancer care management for the nation. The proposed BCGA dataset, comprising multi-omics data such as whole-genome sequencing, copy number variation, transcriptome, and methylome, will be open for publicly use and analysis. This multi-omics information will also help the cancer research community to improve the prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of cancer. Since the idea of establishing BCGA would be a long-term visionary project with multidimensional approaches, our primary goal is to take a pilot based small project on triple-negative breast cancer (TNBC) to establish a compatible system for our nation.
Moving forward, we are continuing to strengthen the relationship between medical research and clinical care, by growing our translational and clinical research programs and encouraging collaboration between researchers and clinicians, educators and students. Together with our partnership with national and international collaborator, we are trying to create new opportunities to merge patient care, education and research in the medical education program and in the simulation center built to support that program.