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The Impact of Epithelial-Stromal Interactions on Human Breast Tumor Heterogeneity

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Technical Report,15 Sep 2014,14 Sep 2015

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Royal Institution for the Advancement of Learning Montreal QC Canada

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Heterogeneity is a key factor underlying the variability in patient response to treatment, especially in Triple-Negative TN breast cancer cases. In addition to the intrinsic molecular characteristics of the tumor epithelium, the stroma can influence tumor progression and response to therapy. The purpose of this project is to identify, define and formally test critical pathways mediating tumor epithelial-stromal communication and co-dependency in TN breast tumor subtypes associated with poor outcome. To date, we have profiled the gene and miRNA expression of distinct epithelial and stromal compartments from ca. 50 TN tumors, identified epithelial and stromal gene expression modules, and created an interaction network for these gene modules. These are critical steps towards understanding the relationship between the tumor and its microenvironment. Our project will provide the first integrated in-depth analysis of the contribution of tumor stromal processes to disease heterogeneity, and will position the tumor microenvironment for therapeutic intervention.


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