Meet our SPARK Fellows


Virginia Borges, MD

Diagnostic and Therapy for Breast Cancer

This project aims to address the unmet need for effective targeted therapies in endocrine therapy-resistant, recurrent, estrogen receptor-positive (ER+) breast cancers and triple-negative breast cancers. The researchers plan to develop and test a novel diagnostic and companion therapy for semaphorin 7a (SEMA7A) expression, which has been identified as upregulated in a significant percentage of breast cancer patients and a potent driver of metastasis in preclinical models. They will validate the diagnostic in a large cohort and explore the feasibility and efficacy of a monoclonal antibody-based therapy targeting SEMA7A. The goal is to develop and test the antibody-based diagnostic and therapy, potentially leading to clinical trials to determine whether SEMA7A can predict treatment outcomes in breast cancer patients, particularly in a high-risk subset of young ER+ postpartum patients. The research team's expertise in various areas, including basic science, monoclonal antibody development, pre-clinical testing, and clinical trials, positions them to advance this innovative approach towards improving breast cancer treatment and patient outcomes. Collaborators: Traci Lyons, PhD, Alan Elder, MS, Robert Hodges, PhD, Steve Anderson, PhD and Richard Duke, PhD

Learn more about Dr. Borges

CU Innovations

CU Anschutz

Anschutz Health Sciences Building

1890 N Revere Ct

Suite 6202

Mail Stop F411

Aurora, CO 80045


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