Breast cancer consists of a multitude of different diseases with varying behaviours and it is critical to identify subgroups with similar tumour biological properties as well as define groups that will respond to specific treatments. Within the project we have pinpointed several alterations in breast cancer that are associated with an impaired response to endocrine treatment. In the quest to understand how proliferation and migration are regulated and potential common regulatory pathways we have also obtained completely novel information about coordinated but contrasting regulation of key tumour properties in ER-positive and ER-negative breast cancer.
These two main themes within the laboratory will now be further challenged by adding the complexity of the tumour microenvironment as well as the presence of cancer stem cells. We will focus on our findings suggesting that breast cancer will respond differently to low oxygen and we will detail the mechanism behind this contrasting behaviour as well as identify key regulators mediating the obvious increase of cancer stem cells in some tumours during hypoxia. Ultimately we will identify novel inhibitors that block this process and potentially launch a therapy approach for increasing the efficiency of hypoxia or anti-angiogenic therapies or alternatively, identify markers for when hypoxia-induced therapy will be beneficial or not. The projects are currently carried out in Sweden and in England.
We provide an integrated approach for breast cancer research by combining the analysis of clinical observations in vivo with cell and molecular techniques in the laboratory. We also construct and analyse large sets of primary tumour materials in tissue microarrays (TMAs) linked to clinical data bases.
Göran Landberg, MD, PhD, Professor
Pernilla Gregersson, Technician, Lab manager
Ylva Magnusson, Technician
Paul Fitzpatrick, Postdoc
Susann Busch, Postdoc
Éamon Hughes, Postdoc
Claire Walsh, Postdoc
Hanna Jacobsson, Postdoc
Daniel Andersson, Postdoc
Nina Akrap, PhD
Svanheidur Rafnsdottir, PhD