Ana Vivancos (co-led with Cristina Saura)
Validation of a new technique to detect breast cancer from breast milk
(co-led with Cristina Saura)
Vall d’Hebron Institut d’Oncologia (VHIO), Barcelona, Spain
Breast cancer that occurs during pregnancy and postpartum, the most common in women under 45 years of age, is usually diagnosed at advanced stages compared to other breast cancers, which worsens its prognosis. Postpartum breast cancer is particularly aggressive, with a higher risk of metastasis and mortality.
In previous studies the project team has shown that breast milk of breast cancer patients contains tumour-cell-derived DNA (or ctDNA). Tests conducted so far indicate that tumour variants are found in the DNA isolated from breast milk in up to 78 % of cases.
Based on that discovery, in this project the team will conduct a clinical trial involving more than 5,000 women, with the aim of incorporating this new diagnostic system into routine clinical practice. The aim is to verify the suitability of liquid biopsy in breast milk as a diagnostic test for detecting pregnancy-associated breast cancer in early stages. The clinical trial will use a test developed in the team’s laboratory based on next-generation technology, which has already been employed in the previously mentioned studies. This test must comply with the current European regulation governing in vitro diagnostic medical products, which entails a complex, rigorous validation process.
A novel liquid biopsy approach for early breast cancer detection in lactating women