Understanding the role of the immune microenvironment in endocrine resistant ER+ breast cancer - a multi 'omics and machine learning approach.
Project Member(s): Doble, P.
Funding or Partner Organisation: Maridulu Budyari Gumal - The Sydney Partnership for Health, Education, Research and Enterprise (SPHERE) (SPHERE Cancer Clinical Academic Group Grant Scheme)
Maridulu Budyari Gumal - The Sydney Partnership for Health, Education, Research and Enterprise (SPHERE) (SPHERE Cancer Clinical Academic Group Grant Scheme)
Start year: 2020
Summary: Estrogen receptor positive (ER+) breast cancer is the commonest type of breast cancer which usually responds to hormone blocking drugs following surgical excision. However, it is not well understood why approximately 30% of these tumours are resistant to hormonal therapy, leading to relapses and metastatic disease which require chemotherapy with a resultant poor prognosis. A new emerging area of interest is the role that local tumour immune microenvironment and the influence that the gut microbiome (the trillions of microorganisms that live in our bodies) may play in affecting treatment response. To address these questions we have established a treatment approach where hormonal therapy starts immediately at diagnosis, for 10-14 days whilst waiting for surgery. Comparison of the tumour biopsy on treatment with the pre-treatment biopsy, allows us to predict the likely success or failure of hormonal treatment within 2 weeks of surgery. We will study responders and non-responders using state of the art molecular techniques and artificial intelligence approaches to detail changes in the tumour microenvironment, DNA, RNA, protein and gut microbiome. This study offers the significant possibility of being able to understand why treatment does not work in some patients and may pave the way for future studies to “engineer” the gut microbiome to optimise the treatment response of all patients to achieve a better outcome.
FOR Codes: Expanding Knowledge in the Physical Sciences, Analytical spectrometry, Analytical biochemistry