Congrats to Osama Shah for receiving the “Peggy Ogden Women’s Health Fellowship award” from Foundation of Women Wellness (FWW) for his research project “Comprehensive Molecular Characterization of Cell Line Models of Invasive Lobular Breast Cancer”. FWW’s Fellowship Awards recognize and support emerging physician-scientists working in women’s health disciplines.
Invasive lobular carcinoma (ILC) is a poorly studied subtype of breast cancer. ILC remains understudied in part due to lack of appropriate laboratory models in which to study this disease. Osama’s project is focused on performing molecular characterization of reported ILC cell lines and investigating which of these cell lines recapitulate the molecular landscape of human ILC disease towards identifying suitable models for ILC research.
Osama thanks Dr. Lee, Dr. Oesterriech, and Dr. Xavier for their outstanding mentorship.
This study was led by former graduate student Vaciry Li with great efforts from many intra- and inter-group collaborations. Congratulations to all!
In this study, we showed that context and allele-dependent transcriptome and cistrome reprogramming in ESR1 mutation cell models, which elicit diverse metastatic phenotypes related to cell-cell adhesion, cell-ECM adhesion and migration driven by increased desmosome/gap junctions, dampened TIMP3-MMP axis and Wnt pathway. Importantly, some of these pathways can pharmacologically targeted and reveals novel therapeutic strategies.
Led by PhD student Neil Carleton and senior authors Adrian Lee, Priscilla McAuliffe, and Steffi Oesterreich, we review key considerations for “right-sizing” therapy options for older women with ER+ breast cancer. With contributions from radiation, pathology, surgical oncology, radiation oncology, and medical oncology from the UPMC / Magee Women’s Hospital breast cancer group, this collaborative effort touches on optimizing quality of life along with new translational studies that may impact future treatment of these patients.
Congrats to Kai Ding for his Best Presentation Award and to Ashuvinee Elangovan and Dr. Daniel Brown for Poster Awards. 300 attendees came together virtually for the 4th Annual Great Lakes Breast Cancer Symposium (GLBCS) October 25-26. 2021.
This training program is designed to recruit postdoctoral fellows from around the country to conduct cutting edge research at the UPMC Hillman Cancer Center. For her project, Olivia will be investigating why invasive lobular breast carcinoma (ILC) displays a unique pattern of metastasis relative to the more common form of breast cancer, invasive ductal carcinoma (IDC). Whereas both ILC and IDC metastasize to the bone, liver, and lungs, ILC displays an increased propensity to metastasize to the GI tract and reproductive organs. To study this, she is investigating the contribution of mesothelial cells in dictating ILC metastasis. Mesothelial cells are non-cancerous cells that line all organs of the body and are highly enriched in the abdominal cavity where ILC tumors metastasize to. Her goal is to identify specific mechanisms that mediate metastasis to these unique sites so that therapies can be designed to prevent it.
Led by Neil Carleton with significant contributions from others in the lab (Osama Shah & Fangyuan (Chelsea) Chen), we studied trends of use of two interventions, sentinel lymph node biopsy (SLNB) and radiation therapy (RT), in elderly women with ER+, clinically node-negative breast cancer. Despite two national guidelines recommending against their use, trends of use by surgical oncologists and radiation oncologists remain quite high. We used propensity score matching to control for confounding and biases in retrospective analysis. Significantly, we found that omitting either SLNB or RT was a feasible approach to care and did not compromise recurrence free survival. Our results bolster the existing clinical guidelines recommending for de-implementation of these interventions.
This was a highly collaborative projects with input from authors in biostatistics, radiation oncology, surgical oncology, medical oncology, and specialists in women’s cancer.
Excitingly, this paper received quite a bit of attention in the media and in the field at large! We were thrilled to see Dr. Lee appear on multiple local TV news stations and Dr. McAuliffe making a number of radio appearances!
Congrats to Neil Carleton on his excellent score on his F30 award application, which is titled, “Promotion of ER+ Breast Cancer Progression in the Elderly.”
Neil will study the intersection of aging and breast cancer: ER+ breast cancer incidence correlates strongly with aging, rising to a peak incidence in women aged 70 years or older (elderly). Owing in large part to the differences in physiologic estrogen signaling and the chronic inflammatory state that develops as people age, ER+ breast cancer that develops in the elderly population exhibits distinct clinical and biologically behavior from ER+ breast cancer in younger cohorts. Intrinsic epigenomic and transcriptomic as well as changes to local breast microenvironment all contribute to a unique landscape for tumor pathogenesis in aged individuals. The interplay and disease-causing roles of these factors requires further investigation.
Neil thanks Dr. Lee, Dr. Oesterreich, and Dr. Xavier for their excellent mentorship – this is the lab’s fourth (!) F30 award received for MD/PhD students!