Becky Sigler 734-764-9922
Our laboratory research includes nomination and validation of expression-based signatures to predict patients that need treatment intensification and signatures to identify patient who will not need further adjuvant therapy for breast cancer. Moreover, our translational work has credentialed a number of novel targets for the treatment of estrogen and progesterone receptor-negative, HER2-negative “triple-negative” breast cancer, a particularly aggressive and difficult to treat form of breast cancer. As PI or co-Investigator on several university-, industry-, private foundation- and NIH-funded grants, we remain active in the radiation and breast cancer research arena by looking for more effective, targeted therapies for women with breast cancer. These targeted therapies include PARP-inhibitors, BET bromodomain inhibitors, and androgen receptor antagonists as agents for radiosensitization. We have also utilized kinome screens to identify novel targets for the treatment of aggressive breast cancers, including triple-negative breast cancer. Finally, we are also interested in the mechanisms of treatment resistance that include modulation of breast tumor initiating cells and understanding novel layers of cancer biology, including the role of long non-coding RNA in triple-negative breast cancer.
Areas of Interest
- Breast cancer- clinical and scientific interest include using genomic and proteomic approaches to identify women who are at high risk for breast cancer recurrence and who may benefit from treatment intensification. Interests also include molecularly based signatures to identify women who are cured after breast conserving surgery and who may not require adjuvant radiation.
- Radiation therapy for breast cancer- Interest includes identifying novel molecular targets for chemo‐ and radio-sensitization in women with triple‐negative or basal‐like breast cancer, including those molecules critical for maintaining breast cancer stem cells.
- Radiation therapy for prostate cancer- Interest includes the identification of molecular targets relevant for the systemic progression and radiation sensitization of prostate cancer.
- Avoiding the over- and under- treatment of patients with breast or prostate cancer
Honors & Awards
2015 Awarded Roentgen Resident/Fellow Research Award for outstanding research
2014 Awarded Young Oncologist Essay Award and Oral presentation, American Radium Society 96th Annual Meeting
2014 Awarded the 2014 ASCO Conquer Cancer Foundation Young Investigator Awardin memory of Evelyn H. Lauder
2014 ASTRO Annual Meeting Abstract Award, Basic Science Abstract Award Winner in Biology, oral presentation
2014 Best of ASTRO meeting selection
2014 “Best of ASTRO” selection, for abstract: Maternal Embryonic Leucine Zipper Kinase (MELK): A Novel Target for Radiosensitization That is Independently Prognostic in Triple-Negative Breast Cancers; presented at Best of ASTRO meeting, Oct 17-18th, Miami, FL
2013 AACR Scholar-in-Training Award
2013 San Antonio Breast Cancer Symposium
2013 Awarded Radiological Society of North America (RSNA) Research & Education Foundation's Resident Research Grant, 1 year award.
2012 Selected as a B. Leonard Holman Research Pathway Fellow by the AmericanBoard of Radiology.
2008 Invited platform speaker, Era of Hope Biannual Meeting, Baltimore, MD
- PhD, Department of Molecular and Cellular Biology, Baylor College of Medicine, 2009.
- MD, Baylor College of Medicine, 2010
- BS, Brigham Young University, Provo, UT, 2002
- Medical License: State of Michigan
- (PI: Speers), 01/2017-12/2021, Frances and Kenneth Eisenberg Emerging Scholar of the Taubman Institute,
- (PI: Speers), 01/2017-12/2017, Frank Limpert Clinical Scholar Career Development Award Dr. Frank Limpert
- (PI: Pierce), 10/2016-09/2017, Breast Cancer Research Fdn- 16-PAF07572: Breast cancer cell sensitivity to radiotherapy In the presence of targeted therapies and predictors of early vs. late response, Role; Co-Investigator with Effort.
- (PI: Pierce), 07/2016-03/2018, Susan G. Komen for the Cure: Breast cancer cell sensitivity to radiotherapy in the presence of targeted therapies, Co-Investigator with Effort.
- (PI: Speers), 07/2015-02/2018m Astellas Pharma US, Inc. through a consortium with Medivation, Inc.- 14-PAF05472: Androgen receptor blockade as a novel radiosensitization strategy in AR-positive, triple-negative breast cancer, Role: Principal Investigator.
Selected from 22 publications
- Speers C, Liu M, Zhao S, Evans J, Pierce LJ, Feng F. Maternal embryonic leucine zipper kinase(MELK) is a novel radioresistance gene and a biomarker of radioresistance in human breast cancer. Clin Cancer Res, Aug 15;21(16):3667-77, 2015. PMID: 27225691
- Speers C*, Zhou S*, Liu M, Bartelink H, Pierce LJ, Feng FY. Development and validation of a novel radiosensitivity signature in human breast cancer. Clin Cancer Res, Apr 22, 2014 pii:clincanres.2898.2014.
- Speers C*, Feng FY*, Liu M, Jackson W, Moon D, Rinkinen J, Wilder-Romans K, JagsiR, Pierce LJ. Intratreatment increases in PARP1 activity predict radiosensitization with PARP1 inhibition in breast cancer. Breast Cancer Res Treat, Aug;147(1):81-94, 2014.
- Niknafs YS, Han S, Ma T, Speers C, Evans J, Poliakov A, Rae J, Hayes D, Malik R, Singhal U, Rolf, Cenk, George,Feng F, Chinnaiyan AF, An estrogen regulated long non-coding RNA mediates breast cancer progression and tamoxifen resistance, Nat Commun, Sep 26;7:12791. 2016. doi:10.1038/ncomms12791. PMID: 27666543
- Zhao SG, Chang SL, Spratt DE, Erho N, Yu M, Ashab HA, Alshalalfa M, Speers C, Tomlins SA, Davicioni E, Dicker AP, Carroll PR, Cooperberg MR, Freedland SJ, Karnes RJ, Ross A, Schaeffer EM, Den RB, Nguyen PL, Feng FY, A 24-gene predictor of response to post-operative radiation therapy in prostate cancer. Lancet Oncology, Oct 12. pii: S1470-2045(16)30491-0, 2016. PMID: 27743920