Stopping breast cancer

David PotterAlthough breast cancer therapies have come a long way, certain types of breast cancer remain difficult to treat.

With Masonic support, David Potter, M.D., Ph.D., a hematology, oncology, and transplantation faculty member, is working to improve outcomes for women with an especially challenging form of the disease called ER+HER2- breast cancer.

Responsible for most breast cancer deaths, ER+HER2- breast cancer is resistant to standard therapies. That’s why Potter and his team are optimistic about a candidate drug they recently discovered called hexyl-benzyl-biguanide (HBB).

HBB is based on a commonly used diabetes drug called metformin, which has been studied in breast cancer prevention and treatment. While metformin has not been as effective as some have hoped, Potter’s research shows that HBB is significantly more potent in inhibiting the spread of breast cancer cells. It also includes the added benefit of activating cancer-fighting immune cells.

The next big step for Potter and his team will be to test HBB in breast cancer patients through an early-stage clinical trial.

“Thank you so much for this kind support. It allows us to take risks and provides the seed funding to obtain key data.”


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