Breast cancer incidence is increasing worldwide with more than 600,000 deaths reported in 2018 alone. In current practice treatment options for breast cancer patients consists of surgery, chemotherapy, radiotherapy or targeting of classical markers of breast cancer subtype: estrogen receptor (ER) and HER2. However, these treatments fail to prevent recurrence and metastasis. Improved understanding of breast cancer and metastasis biology will help uncover novel biomarkers and therapeutic opportunities to improve patient stratification and treatment. We will first provide an overview of current methods and models used to study breast cancer biology, focusing on 2D and 3D cell culture, including organoids, and on in vivo models such as the MMTV mouse model and patient-derived xenografts (PDX). Next, genomic, transcriptomic, and proteomic approaches and their integration will be considered in the context of breast cancer susceptibility, breast cancer drivers, and therapeutic response and resistance to treatment. Finally, we will discuss how ‘Omics datasets in combination with traditional breast cancer models are useful for generating insights into breast cancer biology, for suggesting individual treatments in precision oncology, and for creating data repositories to undergo further meta-analysis. System biology has the potential to catalyze the next great leap forward in treatment options for breast cancer patients.
Research Beacons, Institutes and Platforms
- Manchester Cancer Research Centre