The broad aim of our group is to understand the biological and pathological processes which underpin breast carcinogenesis. Our approach is to use observational pathology to generate hypotheses which can then be tested experimentally.
The group has a major interest in understanding the role of estrogen receptors (ERs) -α and -β (and variants/isoforms thereof) and associated signalling pathways in the hormone response of normal and malignant mammary gland using clinical material, breast cancer cell lines and novel in vitro model systems. We have a growing interest in tumour-stromal interactions and this is being addressed not only through our work on ERβ but in other genes such as &beta-catenin. The importance of the stroma is also being taken forward through microRNA work. Other experimental work in the group includes examining how posttranscriptional gene deregulation affects protein expression and tumour biology in different tumour types. We also study aspects of endocrine resistance and have identified CEACAM6 as an important mediator of this. Our work is both in-house and collaborative at local and national levels.
Our group provides pathology and scientific input through membership of various steering groups associated with major clinical trials in breast cancer including IBIS, COMICE and IES, etc.
Al-Nakhle H, Burns PA, Cummings M, Hanby AM, Hughes TA, Satheesha S, Shaaban AM, Smith L, Speirs V. Estrogen receptor β1 expression is regulated by miR-92 in breast cancer. Cancer Res. 2010;70:4778-84.
Hamilton-Burke W, Coleman L, Cummings M, Green CA, Holliday DL, Horgan K, Maraqa L, Peter MB, Pollock S, Shaaban AM, Smith L, Speirs V. Phosphorylation of estrogen receptor β at serine 105 is associated with good prognosis in breast cancer. Am J Pathol. 2010;177:1079-86.
Turnbull L, Brown S, Harvey I, Olivier C, Drew P, Napp V, Hanby A, Brown J. Comparative effectiveness of MRI in breast cancer (COMICE) trial: a randomised controlled trial. Lancet. 2010;375:563-71.