Using microscopy, laser microdissection, immunohistochemistry, in situ hybridization, digitalization and image analysis techniques, Dr. Louis Gaboury and the members of his team seek to better characterize tumors and to understand each critical step involved with the development and progression of cancers. Over time, a greater understanding of tumor subtypes will lead to identifying new prognostic and predictive cancer markers.
We now know that there is not “one” breast cancer, but rather “several types” of cancers. Because each tumor is unique from the point of view of its clinical evolution and its response to treatment, physicians must be able to distinguish the cancer subtype that a tumor belongs to in order to offer the patient a custom-designed treatment. The goal of the core facility’s research work is to discover new breast cancer biomarkers, thus fostering better handling of patients.
The Investigator and his team have therefore committed themselves to the path of personalized medicine, and track cancer biomarkers in order to provide a more specific diagnosis of each cancer subtype and a better understanding of the cellular interactions between the cancer and the surrounding cells. To do so, Investigators use a large collection of breast tumors and normal tissues. By comparing the protein expression of these two types of tissues, they hope to identify new biomarkers. At the same time, Dr. Louis Gaboury’s team tries to elucidate the origin and the mechanisms of occurrence of certain tumor subtypes and to better understand the role of the microenvironment and of the immune system’s cells.
The team also collaborates with other research teams from the Université de Montréal and from McGill University to develop a medical imaging method that can simultaneously distinguish 15 breast cancer biomarkers. Such an approach will one day lead to more quickly identifying the exact nature of the interactions between the tumor cells and the patient’s healthy cells.