Breast Pathology Research Group
The Breast Pathology Research Group, led by Professor Sarah Pinder, is studying the heterogeneous nature of breast cancer at the morphological, protein and genomic level, focussing on developing improved systems for classification of breast cancer in its numerous forms, both established invasive disease and its precursors. The group has a particular interest in precancerous lesions and methods for more accurately categorising, and therefore treating patients with, lesions such as ductal carcinoma in situ (DCIS).
The group is undertaking an extensive review of large numbers of precancerous lesions and invasive breast cancers from the Guy’s Hospital Breast Tissue Bank. Once reviewed, the cases are sampled using tissue microarray (TMA) technology. A substantial panel of immunohistochemical markers can in this way be assessed on very large numbers of tumours. Marker expression in in situ and invasive tumour can be compared, as well as differences between cases of similar disease. Established markers, such as hormone receptors, HER2, basal and proliferation markers are being examined but novel markers using array CGH to identify genomic regions of interest are also sought. In-situ hybridisation studies can then be performed to confirm genetic abnormalities and further antibodies raised and examined on the TMA resource developed.
Thus the group aims to develop a very large database including details of the microscopic appearances, protein expression and genetic abnormalities in precancerous and early breast cancer lesions and to develop an improved predictive classification system of clinical relevance.
Dr Cheryl Gillett
Professor Sarah Pinder