Breast Cancer

Why we focus on Breast Cancer

Breast cancer is the most common cancer of females in the western world. Recent molecular analysis has revealed that the traditional, morphological categorisation has underestimated the variety of breast cancer types which exist. Many of these molecular sub‑types vary in terms of their clinical behaviour (such as tendency to metastasise) and their responses to therapy. Expanding on these initial studies offers great hope in terms of being able to predict tumour behaviour and patient outcome with greater accuracy, and also for the development of novel therapies targeted specifically against particular subtypes.

What we do

  • Engage in a variety of investigations which range in scope from basic molecular biology through to epidemiological studies on incidence and types of cancer in different patient and ethnic groups.
  • Maintain a breast cancer tissue bank which is unique in including isolated and characterised cell populations from different tumours.
  • Identify genetic variations that predispose to LCIS or DCIS and establish which genetic changes cause these pre-malignant lesions to progress.
  • Examine the role of the microenvironment in modifying breast cancer behaviour, focusing specifically on transition of pre‑invasive DCIS to invasive disease.
  • We are affiliated with the Centre for Cancer Prevention, directed by Professor Jack Cuzick, who lead on several international trials in breast cancer prevention, which have been pivotal in the introduction of new prevention regimes for breast cancer patients, including the introduction of the aromatase inhibitor, anastrazole.

Key Publications

  • Elosegui-Artola et al. Rigidity sensing and adaptation through regulation of integrin types. Nature Materials 2014; 10.1038/nmat3960
  • Moore et al. Therapeutic Targeting of Integrin αvβ6 in Breast Cancer. JCNI 2014 10.1093/jnici/dju169
  • Chioni AM, Grose R. FGFR1 cleavage and nuclear translocation regulates breast cancer cell behaviour. J Cell Biol 2012; 197:801-17.
  • Ménard et al. Receptor tyrosine kinase c-Met controls the cytoskeleton from different endosomes via different pathways. Nature Communications 2014; 5, 3907
  • Allen et al. Altered Microenvironment Promotes Progression of Pre-Invasive Breast Cancer: myoepithelial expression of αvβ6 integrin in DCIS identifies high-risk patients and predicts recurrence. Clin Cancer Res 2013; 20(2):344-57
  • Cuzick et al. Tamoxifen-induced reduction in mammographic density and breast cancer risk reduction: a nested case-control study. J Natl Cancer Inst 2011; 103: 744-52. 

Centre for Cancer Prevention Affiliation:

  • Cuzick et al. Tamoxifen-induced reduction in mammographic density and breast cancer risk reduction: a nested case-control study. J Natl Cancer Inst 2011; 103: 744-52.
  • Cuzick et al. Prognostic Value of a Combined Estrogen Receptor, Progesterone Receptor, Ki-67, and Human Epidermal Growth Factor Receptor 2 Immunohistochemical Score and Comparison With the Genomic Health Recurrence Score in Early Breast Cancer.  J Clin Oncol. 2011; Oct 11.

Who does the Research

→ Click here for BCI researchers working on breast cancer

Centre for Cancer Prevention Affiliation:

  • Prof Jack Cuzick - Epidemiology & Prevention
  • Prof Stephen Duffy - Cancer Screening

Major Funders

  • Association for International Cancer Research
  • Breast Cancer Now
  • Cancer Research UK
  • MRC
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