Breast cancer develops from atypical hyperplasia, through ductal carcinoma in situ (DCIS) to invasive carcinoma. However, only few precursor lesions have the potential to progress to invasive breast cancer. Since underlying evolutionary processes are largely unknown, the biological and clinical prediction of progression remains difficult. The consequence is a risk of over- as well as undertreatment with current adjuvant radiotherapy recommendations for most women diagnosed with DCIS.
Through spatial tissue profiling we aim to gather a better understanding on the underlying biology of subclonal expansion during breast cancer evolution in the microenvironmental context. Our hypothesis is that already during early breast cancer stages, cellular ecosystems are formed, in which cancer cell clones evolve through direct interactions with cells in their adjacent microenvironment and adapt biological competencies connected to radiotherapy resistance.
With our work we hope to identify the regulatory mechanisms of these cellular ecosystems and to use this knowledge to etablsih new predictive biomarkers for treatment benefit in DCIS. Ultimately, we work towards the development of new treatment modalities to convert radioresistance for women with DCIS.
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EvoMaps: Understanding Early Breast Cancer Evolution in Space and Time. Founded by Trons Mohn Stiftelse.