Over the past twenty years, studies have shown that epithelial cancers grow in a specific environment characterized by tumor-induced changes ofthe infiltrating immune cells. This symbiotic relationship is critical for tumor growth and more importantly for tumor metastasis. Clearly a better understanding of these processes and the tumor types associated with each is critical to enhancing our understanding and treatment of malignant disease. During that same time period, it has been clear that the traditional approach to evaluate breast cancer using tumor histology does not adequately reflect the diversity of biology and the heterogeneity of this disease. As a result, new approaches to classifying breast cancer have been generated. The most commonly used, pioneered by this SPORE program, utilizes the expression of an intrinsic set of genes generated using cDNA microarray technology. Four different intrinsic subtypes were described-luminal A, HER-2-enriched, basal-like and normal-breast like. Interestingly, these different subtypes were associated with different clinical outcomes. Most recently, the Perou laboratory has identified a fifth subtype that is enriched in genes associated with tumor initiating cells and epithelial to mesenchymal transition. Patients with this subtype termed

Public Health Relevance

Breast cancer is the most common malignancy in women in the United States and the second leading cause of malignant death. We have found that a new subtype, claudin-low, are heavily infiltrated with immune cells, which are critical to the growth of these tumors. The current project seeks to understand how these immune cells regulate tumor growth and to target immune and tumor cells as a novel approach to therapy.

Agency
National Institute of Health (NIH)
Institute
National Cancer Institute (NCI)
Type
Specialized Center (P50)
Project #
2P50CA058223-19A1
Application #
8389742
Study Section
Special Emphasis Panel (ZCA1-RPRB-0 (M1))
Project Start
1997-08-05
Project End
2017-08-31
Budget Start
2012-08-01
Budget End
2013-07-31
Support Year
19
Fiscal Year
2012
Total Cost
$210,435
Indirect Cost
Name
University of North Carolina Chapel Hill
Department
Type
DUNS #
608195277
City
Chapel Hill
State
NC
Country
United States
Zip Code
27599
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