Project Description

“Triple Negative” breast cancer therapy



Immunohistochemical panel and epigenetic markers for predictive purposes in “Triple Negative” breast cancer therapy.


“Triple Negative” breast cancer (TNBC) is a morphologically and genetically heterogeneous tumor. It represents the rarest BC subtype (12-24%) but the aggressive clinical behavior and high histologic grade cause poor prognosis in 25%. Molecular pattern distinguished by immunohistochemical negativity of hormone receptors and HER2 restricts therapeutic choices. TNBCs are non-responsive to hormonal therapies nor to biological anti-HER2 drugs: the unique therapeutic option remains chemotherapy. Transcriptional factors of hematopoiesis, such as BCL11A, are essential in mammary gland development in mice and humans. Recent data point to the involvement of the BCL11A gene in BC development. Its expression is regulated by specific miRNAs in the onset of malignant hemopathies and solid tumors. Epigenetics regulates various cellular functions of TNBCs, and has significant clinical utility in therapeutic decision making. The primary objective of the study will be to evaluate the gene and protein expression of BCL11A isoforms in TNBCs in order to identify immunohistochemical markers that can be associated with histological diagnosis in the prognostic/predictive definition of malignancy. The secondary objective will concern the identification of miRNAs specific for the histological categories of TNBCs, which will be correlated with the regulation of gene expression at the post-transcriptional level of BCL11A by in silico and in vitro experiments, using cell cultures, obtained from human TNBCs.

Funding sources:

Fondazione di Sardegna (Cagliari, IT) - GRANT_NUMBER: 2021.0494

Research Team:

The project is coordinated by Andrea Angius and the team members work at the Institute of Genetic and Biomedical Research (IRGB) and at the Department of Medical, Surgical and Experimental Sciences at the University of Sassari.

Project results:


Angius, A.; Pira, G.; Cossu-Rocca, P.; Sotgiu, G.; Saderi, L.; Muroni, M. R.; Virdis, P.; Piras, D.; Vincenzo, R.; Carru, C.; Coradduzza, D.; Uras, M. G.; Cottu, P.; Fancellu, A.; Orrù, S.; Uva, P.; " De Miglio, M. R.

Deciphering clinical significance of BCL11A isoforms and protein expression roles in triple-negative breast cancer subtype Journal Article

In: J Cancer Res Clin Oncol, 2022.

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