Therese Sørlie's group:Breast tumor initiation and progression

Therese Sørlie
Group leader

Our group is interested in 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. We use patient cohorts and animal models (transgenic and patient-derived xenograft - PDX) in our studies. We apply high-throughput genomic technologies, functional assays, lineage-tracing, in situ hybridization techniques and statistical and bioinformatics methods in our research.

Our aim is to identify the cellular origins of breast tumors and the mechanisms behind tumor initiation and further development into the heterogeneous molecular subtypes. Through an increased understanding of how tumors progress to more advances stages, improved strategies for early intervention and more precise treatment can be developed.

Current projects:

  • Characterize the functional effect of breast cancer risk variants.
  • Characterize subtype-specific progression pathways of pre-invasive lesions in the breast
  • Define genetic and epigenetic regulatory events in breast cancer initiation and progression, using transgenic animal models
  • Characterize genetic, phenotypic and functional heterogeneity in PDX models of breast cancer and the effect of treatment.
  • Explore the tumorigenic potential of LGR5 expressing cells in the mammary gland
  • Identify and test potential molecular progression markers in large patient cohorts, and model their interactions.
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Funding sources:

Norwegian Research Council

Norwegian Cancer Society

South-Eastern Norway Regional Health Authority

Contact information:

Department of Cancer Genetics, Institute for Cancer Research, OUS Radiumhospitalet