Oncogenomics and epigenomics of invasive lobular breast cancer.
Supervisors: Prof Melissa Southey, Dr Daniel Park.
Invasive lobular breast cancer (LBC) is the second most frequently diagnosed histologic subtype of invasive breast cancer (10-15% of all cases). There is considerable evidence for increased familial risk for lobular breast cancer. Relatives of lobular breast cancer cases have an increased risk of lobular breast cancer (familial relative risk 4.51 95% CI 2.79-6.89) and a risk of any breast cancer of (2.47 95% CI 2.12-2.85). Both these estimates are significantly greater than the all breast cancer familial relative risk estimates. This evidence strongly supports that lobular breast cancer has a heritable component and may represent a (more) genetically homogeneous form of breast cancer.
Mutations in BRCA2 and CDH1 have been associated with increased incidence of invasive lobular breast cancer but the genetic risk factors associated with the vast majority of multiple-case lobular breast cancer families remain unidentified.
This project aims to identify high-risk genes for lobular breast cancer via an integrated oncogenomic and epigenomic based approach utilising resources from multiple-case lobular breast cancer families and early onset cases of lobular breast cancer. This study will also identify key molecular somatic drivers of lobular breast cancer and improve prevention and treatment strategies for this important breast cancer subtype.
Skills and techniques: This project will utilise whole genome sequencing, expression profiling, genome-wide methylation profiling, bisulphite sequencing, IHC, bioinformatics, histopathology, somatic mutation testing.
Key-words: lobular breast cancer, oncogenomics, epigenomics, familial cancer, heritable cancer risk, bioinformatics, data integration, clinical genetics, genomics, epigenomics, molecular oncology, cancer cell biology.
Target Students: Honours, PhD/postgraduate.