Dr. Anees Chagpar

Yale School of Medicine: Dr. Anees Chagpar, MD, Associate Professor; Director, The Breast Center Smilow Cancer Hospital at Yale New Haven Hospital

Understanding Intratumoral Heterogeneity in Breast Cancer

Awarded $50,000

About this Project:  

It has long been known that breast cancer is a heterogeneous disease – that no two patients have identical tumors.  What is coming more to light is the fact that even within a single patient’s tumor, heterogeneity exists – and this heterogeneity may have profound implications in terms of their treatment.  In general, the diagnosis of breast cancer is made on a small biopsy, and immunohistochemical stains for estrogen receptor, progesterone receptor and her-2-neu guide treatment with agents targeted to these markers.  Differences in these receptors based on where the initial biopsy was taken may then affect treatment decisions, potentially depriving some patients of beneficial therapies.  Whether such intratumoral heterogeneity is greater in the triple negative population remains to be elucidated.  We will perform whole exome sequencing of biopsies obtained from different anatomic regions of the same cancer in order to determine the degree of intratumoral heterogeneity in Stage II – III breast cancer and to correlate the degree of intratumoral heterogeneity with clinical phenotype.