March 29, 2017

The Metastatic Breast Cancer Network (MBCN) has selected Dr. Steffi Oesterreich, Director of Education at the Women’s Cancer Research Center at The University of Pittsburgh Cancer Institute and primary investigator at Magee-Womens Research Institute, as the 2017 recipient of the $100,000 Metastatic Breast Cancer Research Leadership Award.

The MBCN, a patient- led advocate group that supports metastatic breast cancer research, chose Dr. Oesterreich because of her impressive cancer research, specifically with Invasive Lobular Breast Cancer (ILC). ILC is the second most common histological subtype of breast cancer but is understudied, especially in molecular research. Metastases from ILC can occur in unique areas such as the ovary or the gastro-intestinal tract. However, data about these metastases are sparse.

Dr. Oesterreich plans to collect tissue from patients with metastatic ILC. “The award will allow us to study tissue from unique sites of metastases, such as the ovary and the GI tract. We will perform genome wide analysis to characterize genetic and epigenetic changes in these lesions, and compare them to matched tissues from the primary invasive lobular breast tumor,” Dr. Oesterreich said.

Dr. Oesterreich’s research will hopefully lead to prevention and treatment of these metastases.  “We hope that these studies will help our understanding of changes that cause invasive lobular breast tumor cells to metastasize. Our next studies will then focus on ways to targets such ‘drivers’ of the metastatic process, with the goal to prevent and treat metastases,” she said.

For more information on the MBCN award and Dr. Oesterreich’s study, please click here.