We’re delighted that Professor Val Brunton’s lab, (Val is one of our  scientific advisors at LBCUK) has produced a new piece of lobular focused research and provided us with a lay summary of this newly published work.

Lobular breast cancer is the second most common subtype of breast cancer, after ductal breast cancer. Despite the prevalence of lobular tumours, there are no specific therapies available for lobular patients.

In the clinic, lobular and ductal patients are given the same treatments even though there are clear differences between the two tumour types.

An important component of tumours is the microenvironment in which they grow, which consists of the non-cancerous ‘healthy’ cell types that are also present within a tumour, alongside cancer cells, and can drive many features of cancer. The microenvironment of lobular tumours contains a high number of non-cancerous cells known as cancer associated fibroblasts (CAFs).

In this paper, we have compared the microenvironment of lobular and ductal breast cancer by analysing tumours and CAFs isolated from patient tumours to identify differences between the two tumour types.

We have found a number of genes and pathways that affect tumour behaviour that are much more highly expressed in the microenvironment of lobular tumours than ductal tumours.

Two of these genes, PAPPA and TIMP2, affect lobular patient survival but do not have any bearing on ductal patient survival.

We have highlighted several unique features of the microenvironment of lobular tumours that may be useful targets for therapy, potentially leading to identification of treatment specifically for lobular patients.

You can read the full research through this link

Gomez-Cuadrado, L.; Bullock, E.; Mabruk, Z.; Zhao, H.; Souleimanova, M.; Noer, P.R.; Turnbull, A.K.; Oxvig, C.; Bertos, N.; Byron, A.; et al. Characterisation of the Stromal Microenvironment in Lobular Breast Cancer Cancers 2022, 14, 904.