Division of Cancer and Developmental Biology
The goal of my research is to study the role of cancer stem cells in invasive progression of human ductal carcinoma in situ (DCIS). Our central hypothesis is that cancer stem cells and their niche microenvironment may mediate the transition from DCIS to invasive breast cancer. I have established active collaborations with the Breast Cancer Prevention group at KUMC and set up procedures for obtaining and processing human DCIS biopsy samples. My recent publication in Breast Cancer Research in September 2009 is the first introduction of mouse intraductal (MIND) transplantation model for growth of DCIS cell lines as well as primary human DCIS cells. We have recently shown that MIND model may be utilized to successfully and reproducibly grow human primary DCIS cells in the immuno-compromised mouse mammary ducts. MIND model which involves injection of DCIS cells, derived from patient's biopsy samples, into the primary mouse mammary ducts, closely mimics the natural progression of breast cancer and allows the study of the temporal process involved in transition from DCIS to invasive breast cancer.
Figure: The MIND model mimics human breast cancer noninvasive-to-invasive progression. The model allows temporal analysis of processes involved in early breast cancer invasion including intraductal cancer cell growth, cell interaction with the surrounding normal epithelial and myoepithelial cells and their escape into surrounding stroma. A. Intraductal Injection Method; B-D. DCIS.COM; E-G. SUM-225. B&E. Wholemounts, C&F, H&E stains, D&G. Immunofluorescence of human CK5 (red; top), and human CK19 (red; bottom), and SMA (green; top and bottom).