Prognostic and predictive factors for response in treatment of breast cancer and other cancers

Principal investigator at the Institute of Oncology Ljubljana: prof. dr. Barbara Jezeršek Novaković

Current research in oncology is focused primarily on the identification of various prognostic and predictive factors. Prognostic and predictive factors increase the likelihood of personalized management, where each individual cancer patient could receive optimal treatment. Prognostic factors can identify subsets of patients, which need better treatment or management. Furthermore, some molecular prognostic factors can represent potential targets for new anticancer therapies. Predictive factors predict response to a particular type of anticancer therapy.

We aim to study the prognostic role of the tumour-infiltrating lymphocytes (TIL) in women with triple-negative breast cancer (TNBC). Furthermore, its predictive role for the response to chemotherapy will also be studied. Findings of our research might lead to improvement of treatment in women with early TNBC.

Breast cancer in young ( 35 let) women is prognostic ally less favourable as compared to breast cancer in older patients. Therefore, young women with breast cancer usually undergo more intensive and complex treatment. In this group of patient we aim to study  various clinical, histo-pathologic and molecular prognostic factors. We also aim to identify factors, which are associated with infertility after cancer treatment in this vulnerable population of patients.

We observe that locally-advanced breast cancer (LABC) is quite common among Slovenian women. Due to the advanced stage of the disease the outcome of breast cancer in these women is substantially compromised despite available effective therapies. We aim to identify causative factors, which are associated with the occurrence of LABC in Slovenia. Causes for the occurrence of LABC in Slovenian women might be in the ineffective diagnostic procedures (in the health system) and/or in women themselves.

In patients with advanced renal cell carcinoma several clinical prognostic factors are available, but currently there are no predictive factors for response to targeted agents available. In patients with advanced renal cell carcinoma we aim to identify predictive molecular factors for response to therapy with mTOR inhibitors.

Although different targeted agents are available for treatment of patients with advanced colorectal cancer, most od the patients still succumb to their illness. We aim to determine prognostic role of established and candidate molecular prognostic factors in patients with advanced colorectal cancer.
Rituximab in combination with chemotherapy improves outcome of patients with diffuse large cell B-cell lymphoma (DLCBL). We aim to determine whether established prognostic factors retain their prognostic role in patients with DLCBL, who are treated with rituximab. Furthermore, we aim to identify predictive factors for response to rituximab in this group of patients.

Details about the project are available on the website SICRIS: Prognostic and predictive factors for response in treatment of breast cancer and other cancers