Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland
Calcium transport and signalling in breast cancer.....pdf (841.68 kB)

Calcium transport and signalling in breast cancer: functional and prognostic significance

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journal contribution
posted on 2021-08-05, 11:09 authored by Shane O'Grady, Maria MorganMaria Morgan
Comprised of a complex network of numerous intertwining pathways, the Ca2+ signalling nexus is an essential mediator of many normal cellular activities. Like many other such functions, the normal physiological activity of Ca2+ signalling is frequently co-opted and reshaped in cases of breast cancer, creating a potent oncogenic drive within the affected cell population. Such modifications can occur within pathways mediating either Ca2+ import (e.g. TRP channels, ORAI-STIM1) or Ca2+ export (e.g. PMCA), indicating that both increases and decreases within cellular Ca2+ levels have the potential to increase the malignant potential of a cell. Increased understanding of these pathways may offer clinical benefit in terms of both prognosis and treatment; patient survival has been linked to expression levels of certain Ca2+ transport proteins, whilst selective targeting of these factors with novel anti-cancer agents has demonstrated a variety of anti-tumour effects in in vitro studies. In addition, the activity of several Ca2+ signalling pathways has been shown to influence chemotherapy response, suggesting that a synergistic approach coupling traditional chemotherapy with Ca2+ targeting agents may also improve patient outcome. As such, targeted modulation of these pathways represents a novel approach in precision medicine and breast cancer therapy.


Breast Cancer Now grant 2013NovPhD147



The original article is available at

Published Citation

O'Grady S, Morgan MP. Calcium transport and signalling in breast cancer: Functional and prognostic significance. Semin Cancer Biol. 2021;72:19-26.

Publication Date

19 December 2019

PubMed ID



  • School of Pharmacy and Biomolecular Sciences

Research Area

  • Health Professions Education
  • Cancer
  • Biomaterials and Regenerative Medicine




  • Accepted Version (Postprint)