Jonas Bergh's Group
Our research aims to correlate the results obtained by molecular biological characterization of breast cancers to treatment outcome in the patients, with the goal of creating tools for guiding personalized breast cancer treatment. In addition, the research group, in tight network collaborations, aims to understand the critical steps in breast cancer development, progression and metastatic spread and how to best study these processes.
Breast cancer is the most common malignancy in women, the global incidence has increased almost threefold during the last 30 years and the estimated annual incidence in 2012 was 1,67 million. In year 2013, there were 9 174 breast cancer diagnoses in Sweden, and 1 480 patients died in breast cancer. The age corrected annual incidence has doubled during the last 40 years in Sweden. Despite improved treatment strategies over- and under-treatment occur due to lack of sufficiently precise prognostic and therapy predictive markers.
Our research aims to correlate the results obtained by molecular biological characterization of breast cancers to treatment outcome in the patients, with the goal of creating tools for guiding personalized breast cancer treatment. In addition, the research group, in tight network collaborations, aims to understand the critical steps in breast cancer development, progression and metastatic spread and how to best study these processes. To achieve these goals, we make use of resources from already established biobanks and from prospective clinical studies for translational research studies involving highly advanced technologies, including Next-Generation Sequencing analyses and gene expression array analyses.
Our group is of course also fully committed to run different types of prospective clinical studies aiming at identifying better therapies for breast cancer in the neoadjuvant, adjuvant and metastatic setting. We are intensively exploring the use of targeted agents with focus on the HER2 positive group, but also in collaboration with the pharma industry involved in studies using different new targeted agents.
As judged from biomarker and sequencing analyses of both the primary cancer and the corresponding relapse in the same individual, metastatic breast cancer is frequently characterized by different biomarker and mutation profile compared with the matching primary breast cancer. Our studies have shown alterations in biomarker status such as for hormone receptors, HER-2 and Ki67 between primary breast cancer and corresponding recurrences, correlating with differences in survival. Exome-sequencing data show an accumulation of novel mutations in metastatic breast cancer compared with the primary breast cancer, which may explain the poorer response to present drugs. In parallel, we have also ongoing studies on breast cancer stem cells, including exome-sequencing analyses.
In a recently initiated collaboration project, we will apply the novel Cellular Thermal Shift Assay (CETSA) for drug target engagement analyses. By CETSA, it is possible to directly quantify physical drug binding in cells/tissue samples. In the long-term, these drug target engagement measurements can be applied to more readily match the right treatment to the right patient in optimized dosage, in conjunction with proper molecular biological characterization.
Our clinical studies aim to predict the response and resistance to different treatment modalities by performing molecular characterization on biopsies and blood. The goal is also to offer patients medical treatment in relation to the molecular subtypes. In contrast to adjuvant therapy, neoadjuvant treatment allows for individualized in vivo assessment of chemosensitivity, which is not possible in the postoperative setting.
Future treatment strategies in breast cancer need to be tailored based on an improved understanding of the breast cancer biology and marker/genetic-clonal changes during progression, including better understanding of the cellular uptake of the used drugs. Together, these strategies aim for personalizing treatment to improve efficacy and minimize adverse effects.
Jonas Bergh, Professor, Group leader
Judith Bjöhle, MD, PhD student
Susanne Agartz, Lab Engineer
Helen Eriksson, Personal Administrator
Louise Eriksson-Bergman, MD, PhD
Claudette Falato, MD, PhD student
Theodoros Foukakis, MD, Associate Professor
Karthik Govindasamy Muralidharan, MSc, PhD student
Johan Hartman, MD, Associate Professor
Thomas Hatschek, MD, Associate Professor
Elham Hedayati, MD, Postdoc
Johanna Klinge, PhD, Research Engineer
Una Kjällquist, PhD
Elisabet Lidbrink, MD, PhD
Arian Lundberg, PhD student
John Lövrot, Bioinformatician
Ran Ma, PhD
Antroula Papakonstantinou, MD, PhD student
Gustaf Rosin, MD, PhD
Per Rydberg, PhD, Researcher
Andreas Rydén, PhD, Postdoc
Nick Tobin, PhD, Assistant Professor
Ikram Ullah, PhD, Bioinformatician
Birgitta Wallberg, MD, PhD
Lisa Viberg, Research Coordinator
Nils Wilking, MD, Associate Professor
Ulla Wilking, PhD, Postdoc
Hanjing Xie, MD, PhD
Kenny Rodriguez-Wallberg, MD, Associate Professor
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