Molecular evolution of breast cancer

The Breakthrough Toby Robins Breast Cancer Research Centre, Institute of Cancer Research, London, UK.
The Journal of Pathology (Impact Factor: 7.33). 01/2005; 205(2):248-54. DOI: 10.1002/path.1691
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT Molecular analysis of invasive breast cancer and its precursors has furthered our understanding of breast cancer progression. In the past few years, new multi-step pathways of breast cancer progression have been delineated through genotypic-phenotypic correlations. Nuclear grade, more than any other pathological feature, is strongly associated with the number and pattern of molecular genetic abnormalities in breast cancer cells. Thus, there are two distinct major pathways to the evolution of low- and high-grade invasive carcinomas: whilst the former consistently show oestrogen receptor (ER) and progesterone receptor (PgR) positivity and 16q loss, the latter are usually ER/PgR-negative and show Her-2 overexpression/amplification and complex karyotypes. The boundaries between the evolutionary pathways of well-differentiated/low-grade ductal and lobular carcinomas have been blurred, with changes in E-cadherin expression being one of the few distinguishing features between the two. In addition, lesions long thought to be precursors of breast carcinomas, such as hyperplasia of usual type, are currently considered mere risk indicators, whilst columnar cell lesions are now implicated as non-obligate precursors of atypical ductal hyperplasia (ADH) and well-differentiated ductal carcinoma in situ (DCIS). However, only through the combination of comprehensive morphological analysis and cutting-edge molecular tools can this knowledge be translated into clinical practice and patient management.

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    ABSTRACT: Breast cancer (BC) is a heterogeneous disease that encompasses several distinct entities with remarkably different characteristics. Histological type is one of important BC characteristics. Histological type is associated with differences in epidemiology, diagnostic issues, clinical course, prognosis. When we talk about BC, ductal and lobular carcinoma is usually what we have in mind. However, the other types that comprise less than 10% of BC are also very important. The rarity of many of these neoplasms does not allow large or randomized studies to define the optimal treatment. Many of the descriptions are from case reports and small series. The aim of this retrospective study was to analyze the data on rare breast cancers, to describe their main characteristics, and to calculate survival rates. We believe that the experience of our institution will contribute to the available data about these rare breast cancers and help in better understanding of this subgroup.
    01/2014; 10(1). DOI:10.1515/med-2015-0016
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    ABSTRACT: Invasive lobular carcinoma of the breast is the most common 'special' morphological subtype of breast cancer, comprising up to 15% of all cases. Tumours are generally of a good prognostic phenotype, being low histological grade and low mitotic index, hormone receptor positive and HER2, p53 and basal marker negative, and with a generally good response to endocrine therapy. Despite this, clinicians face countless challenges in the diagnosis and long-term management of patients, as they encounter a tumour that can be difficult to detect through screening, elicits a very invasive nature, a propensity for widespread metastatic colonisation and, consequently, in some studies a worse long-term poor outcome compared with invasive carcinoma of no special type. Here we review the morphological and molecular features that underpin the disparate biological and clinical characteristics of this fascinating tumour type.
    Breast cancer research: BCR 12/2015; 17(1):519. DOI:10.1186/s13058-015-0519-x · 5.88 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Aromatase inhibitors (AIs) are a vital component of estrogen receptor positive (ER+) breast cancer treatment. De novo and acquired resistance, however, is common. The aims of this study were to relate patterns of copy number aberrations to molecular and proliferative response to AIs, to study differences in the patterns of copy number aberrations between breast cancer samples pre- and post-AI neoadjuvant therapy, and to identify putative biomarkers for resistance to neoadjuvant AI therapy using an integrative analysis approach. Samples from 84 patients derived from two neoadjuvant AI therapy trials were subjected to copy number profiling by microarray-based comparative genomic hybridisation (aCGH, n = 84), gene expression profiling (n = 47), matched pre- and post-AI aCGH (n = 19 pairs) and Ki67-based AI-response analysis (n = 39). Integrative analysis of these datasets identified a set of nine genes that, when amplified, were associated with a poor response to AIs, and were significantly overexpressed when amplified, including CHKA, LRP5 and SAPS3. Functional validation in vitro, using cell lines with and without amplification of these genes (SUM44, MDA-MB134-VI, T47D and MCF7) and a model of acquired AI-resistance (MCF7-LTED) identified CHKA as a gene that when amplified modulates estrogen receptor (ER)-driven proliferation, ER/estrogen response element (ERE) transactivation, expression of ER-regulated genes and phosphorylation of V-AKT murine thymoma viral oncogene homolog 1 (AKT1). These data provide a rationale for investigation of the role of CHKA in further models of de novo and acquired resistance to AIs, and provide proof of concept that integrative genomic analyses can identify biologically relevant modulators of AI response.
    Breast cancer research: BCR 12/2015; 17(1):532. DOI:10.1186/s13058-015-0532-0 · 5.88 Impact Factor

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