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.
Congratulations to Ashuvinee Elangovan on winning 2nd place for her poster “Loss of E-cadherin Induced IGF1R Activation as a Targetable Pathway for Invasive Lobular Breast Carcinoma” at the 33rd Annual UPMC Hillman Cancer Center Scientific Retreat held on October 12th, at the Soldiers & Sailors Memorial Hall & Museum. Several lab members also presented their posters, including Neil Carleton, Kai Ding, Nandini Doshi, Olivia McGinn, Susrutha Puthanmadhom, Laura Savariau, Osama Shah, & Megan Yates.
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.
Meeting up with Lee-Oesterreich alumni for a BBQ (and visiting Winnie, the RV camper from Steffi and Adrian). August 28th, 2021.
Update (7/16/2021): Check out the 21 news stories written on our recent publication!
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!
Link to paper on journal website: https://jamanetwork.com/journals/jamanetworkopen/fullarticle/2778563
Link to Hillman Cancer Center Press Release press release: https://hillmanresearch.upmc.edu/breast-cancer-treatment-study/
Link to Adrian’s KDKA segment: https://pittsburgh.cbslocal.com/video/5495249-upmc-study-not-all-breast-cancer-should-be-treated/
Link to Adrian’s WTAE segment: https://www.wtae.com/article/sometimes-less-is-better-study-looks-at-treatment-of-breast-cancer-patients-over-70/36159559
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!
On April 6th, 2020, Vaciry Li successfully defended his thesis titled “Hotspot ESR1 mutations are contextual and multimodal drives of breast cancer endocrine resistance and metastasis”. This defense was host virtually via zoom due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Vaciry was a fifth year graduate student from Molecular Pharmacology program and joined the lab in December 2015. He has been working on deciphering the role of ESR1 mutations in breast cancer endocrine resistance and metastasis and have five publications so far during his graduate career. Congratulations Dr. Li!
Megan Yates has received an NIH Ruth L. Kirschstein Individual Predoctoral NRSA for MD/PhD and other Dual Degree Fellowships F30 for her project “Functional Characterization and Clinical Prevalence of ESR1 Fusions in Advanced Endocrine Resistant Breast Cancer“