Dr. Saro Oriana

From normal mammary gland to neoplastic lesion:
 Biological and molecular features of breast cancer progression.

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Principal Clinical Investigator:    
Dr. Saro Oriana, Casa di Cura Ambrosiana, Cesano Boscone, Milano, Italy.

Principal Biological Investigator: 
Dr. Danila Coradini, Istituto Nazionale per lo Studio e la Cura dei Tumori, Milano, Italy.

Despite the efforts, breast cancer remains the first cause of oncologic disease in female population mainly due to lack of exhaustive information about the molecular events occurring in breast tumorigenesis, that it has till now limited the application of really effective strategies for prevention. To address the questions about bio-molecular characteristics of neoplastic progression, scientists are now approaching new intriguing directions aimed to define, on one hand, the genetic and the protein profile of the single tumor using innovative technical strategies (microarray-based gene expression analysis and tissue microarray) and, on the other hand, to investigate the fate of the epithelial precursor (stem cell) during normal development and neoplastic progression.

Aims of the project and the expected results are:

To identify, in a series of surgical specimens representative of the main pathological phases of breast cancer development , the biological and molecular characteristics involved in breast cancer progression and in particular, using a microarray-based gene expression analysis and tissue microarray, to identify the specific set of genes (gene profile) and proteins (protein profile) associated with each step of the transformation of normal mammary gland to pre-neoplastic and neoplastic lesions.
To isolate and antigenically characterize stem-like cells from fresh surgical specimens in order to obtain stable stem cells culture on which epigenetic stimuli able to driven the proliferation and differentiation processes and to be used in studies aimed to define the specific biological markers associated with the transformation from a normal epithelial stem cell to a tumor stem cell, and to identify the specific pathways involved in breast tumorigenesis.
To verify whether the specific biologic markers and the pathways identified in stem cells as responsible for tumor transformation are maintained in surgical specimens of pre-neoplastic and neoplastic lesions.

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