Prognostic Factors for DCIS

With the introduction of population wide breast cancer screening programs DCIS detection has risen from 2% of all breast cancer to 20% in a little under three decades. Current practice guidelines for DCIS treatment recommend mastectomy or breast conserving surgery with radiation, and consideration of tamoxifen. While DCIS is considered a true precursor to invasive breast cancer, multiple lines of evidence suggest that less than half of DCIS cases would progress to invasive breast cancer if left untreated. Improving the ability to discriminate indolent DCIS from clinically relevant DCIS is an urgent priority for improving the breast cancer screening process.

Our PROSPR Research Center has assembled a multi-disciplinary research team to address this problem, including experts in the basic, clinical, and population sciences. Our research program uses innovative techniques to evaluate the potential ability of novel prognostic markers to improve the breast cancer screening process. Our ultimate goal is to develop prognostic markers that will enable personalized management strategies for DCIS, such that the benefits of early detection are realized while eliminating unnecessary treatment and side effects.

We are currently focusing on the following research questions:

  • Can we identify molecular, genetic, or morphologic abnormalities in DCIS cells that are predictive of recurrence?
  • Can we identify aspects of the DCIS tumor microenvironment that are predictive of recurrence?
  • What is the comparative effectiveness of incorporating novel DCIS prognostic markers into the breast cancer screening process?

Important Collaborators in this work include: