Beaumont Hospital

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Research in the Department of Surgery

The Department of Surgery has a strong research program. Our main area of interest is translational work on signalling mechanisms involved in the development and progression of breast cancer, with a view to identifying key molecules to aid in the diagnosis, assessment and treatment of breast cancer.   We have a strong research team under the guidance of Dr Leonie Young.  Dr Young’s research focuses on the development of resistance to breast cancer treatments, which is due, at least in part, to a shift in cancer cell phenotype from steroid to growth factor dependency. 


Current areas of research activity include:

  • SRC-1 mediated tumour progression: We have found this estrogen receptor coactivator protein to be an independent predictor of breast cancer recurrence and are examining further the mechanism of action of this protein. 
  • Homeobox proteins: We have identified a Homeobox protein which interacts with SRC-1 in driving tumour growth.  A downstream target of this complex is being evaluated as a clinical marker for the more aggressive breast tumour phenotype.
  • High mobility group proteins in remodeling of chromatin at the promoter region effecting gene transcription


Recent and upcoming publications include:

Redmond AM, Bane F, Stafford A, McIlroy M, Dillon M, Hill ADK and Young LS. Coassociation of ER and p160 proteins predicts resistance to endocrine treatment; SRC1 is an independent predictor of breast cancer recurrence.  Clinical Cancer Research 2009; 15:2098-2106 (PMID: 19276281)

Dillon M, Stafford A, Kelly G, Crotty T, Redmond AM, McIlroy M, Hill ADK and Young LS.  Cyclooxygenase-2 predicts adverse effects of tamoxifen: a possible mechanism of nuclear HER2 in breast cancer patients.  Endocrine Related Cancer 2008; 15:745-53 (PMID: 18469157)

Al-Azawi, D., McIlroy, M., Kelly, G., Redmond A.M., Bane, F.T., Cocchiglia, S., Hill, A.D.K., and Young, L.S.  Ets-2 and p160 proteins collaborate to regulate c-Myc in endocrine resistant breast cancer.  Oncogene 2008; 27:3021-31 (PMID: 18059336)