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Molecular and Imaging Biomarkers for Precision Therapy of Breast Cancer


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In this project, we will use surgical specimens from the TMIST Lead-In in an attempt to more completely define the underlying molecular, phenotypic and radiological features associated with cancers detected with digital breast tomosynthesis (DBT) vs. digital mammography (DM) or interval cancers, and their surrounding tissue (micro/macroenvironment). We will extract and characterize radiological features including mammographic density, parenchymal texture, lesion morphology, etc. from cancers in DBT and DM images. We will compare the molecular classifications of cancers detected by DBT vs. DM and test correlation with imaging patterns. We will process a subset of the breast cancer specimens using 3D whole-mount processing, in combination with protein marker multiplexing to study the cancer, the tumor micro-environment and the proximal "macro-environment". A protein biomarker panel reporting on: hormonal receptors, proliferative capacity, functional status of tumor infiltrating lymphocytes (TILs), macrophages and cancer-associated fibroblasts (CAFs) in the microenvironment, and mammographic density-related markers will be studied. We believe that this integrated cross-platform study will identify novel imaging signatures that could inform clinicians the biological characteristics of the cancer detected, and facilitate more appropriate, precise and efficient intervention utilizing targeted and conventional therapeutics.



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