Therese Sørlie got her PhD at the University of Oslo in 2000. She is currently currently head of the Department of Cancer Genetics, Institute for Cancer Research at Oslo University Hospital and adjunct professor at the University of Oslo, Medical Faculty.
Sørlie’s group investigates breast tumor initiation and progression; from the cell of origin in which the first oncogenic events take place, the specific pathways and processes that are deregulated in the further progression of the tumors, to the specific events that are essential for the transition from in situ to invasive cancer. The aim is to identify the cellular origins of breast tumors and the mechanisms behind tumor initiation and further development into the heterogeneous molecular subtypes.
The collaboration with CCBIO and its director Lars A. Akslen is rooted by a mutual interest in breast cancer and in particular in the importance of the tumor microenvironment for tumor progression. Tumor growth is influenced at all stages of development by the surrounding tissues, cells of the immune system, circulating particles and even the microbiome. Together they have started to investigate the role of immune cells in the pre-invasive stage of breast cancer, DCIS, in comparison with invasive breast cancer. The plan is to expand on this and explore the tumor-microenvironment interactions and their impact on risk for progression from DCIS to invasive breast cancer.