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Breast Cancer Stem Cells Lab

Breast cancer is a very heterogeneous disease. The identification and characterisation of cells with stem-like properties (cancer stem/progenitor cells, CSCs) in breast cancer has opened new possibilities for anti-cancer therapies. Furthermore, CSCs have been implicated in tumour initiation and resistance to current treatments, including to hormone therapy. In addition, characterisation of the regulation of normal epithelial cell differentiation is fundamental to understanding breast cancer heterogeneity.The main objective of the laboratory is to gain further insight into the roles of steroid hormone receptors in normal breast tissue and during breast cancer development. Thus, the influences of hormones, other signalling factors and the microenvironment in breast stem cells and in their transformation into cancer initiating cells are being explored, particularly focusing on their effects during development of resistance to hormone therapy. Recent work from the lab has revealed the role of CSCs in resistance to tamoxifen and has highlighted the molecular heterogeneity observed in response to the cell environment. Presently, studies are in progress to improve further our knowledge of the molecular mechanisms regulating stem and cancer stem cells with the final aims of (1) identifying biomarkers of resistance to therapy and (2) progressing our understanding of breast cancer biology

Institution: 
CIC bioGUNE

Science Field: 
Life & Medical Sciences

RIS3 priorities: 
Biosciences & Health

Main Research Lines: 
Steroid hormone receptors

Main Researcher: 
MarĂ­a Vivanco

Address: 
Bizkaia Science and Technology Park, building 801A, Derio (Bizkaia)