Researcher, Faculty of Medicine & Surgery
Jeanesse Scerri is a PhD student and a Medical Laboratory Scientist at the Genetics Laboratory situated on the University of Malta campus. She holds a BSc (Hons.) in Medical Laboratory Sciences and an MSc in Biomedical Sciences. Her current research focuses on breast cancer and is being funded through RIDT with funds kindly donated by ALIVE Charity Foundation. She has special interests in the field of personalized cancer medicine, in which each patient receives specific treatment which is tailor made for him/her. This renders cancer therapy both safer and more effective. Jeanesse loves travelling and appreciates the fine arts and literature.
Breast cancer is generally classified into three categories: ER/PR-positive, HER2-positive and triple negative. About one third of BC is HER2-positive, characterized by the overexpression of HER2 cell surface receptors. Whilst being a very aggressive form of cancer, a ‘miracle’ drug was recently discovered to treat HER2-positive BC – trastuzumab or Herceptin®. However, the aggressive nature of this type of tumour makes it very resistant to all forms of treatment, with many patients experiencing a recurrence. Herceptin®-resistance is a very important problem; a subset of HER2-positive Breast Cancer do not respond to the treatment from the start (primary resistance), while the rest are highly likely to develop secondary resistance and recur. Further understanding of the mechanisms underlying resistance will contribute to the development of new personalized therapies for this subset of Breast Cancer.
- Grech, G., Scerri, C., Scerri, J., Cesuroglu., T. (2015). “Preventive and predictive genetics: A perspective”, in Grech, G. & Grossman, I. (Eds.) Preventive and Predictive Genetics: Towards Personalised Medicine. Springer International Publishing.
- Scerri, J., Debono , R., Saliba, C., Grech, G., & Scerri, C. (2015). Predictive genetics: The Maltese familial breast/ovarian cancer genetic screening programme. Malta Medical Journal, 27, S28.