What is Lobular Breast Cancer?

Breast cancer starts when cells in the breast begin to divide and grow in an irregular way. Invasive lobular breast cancer occurs when these irregular cancer cells have started to grow within the milk-producing glands (lobules) and then spread into the surrounding breast tissue.

Lobular breast cancer accounts for about 1 in 10 breast cancers. Very little is known about why this particular type of breast cancer develops. As has been seen with other types of breast cancer, we believe that inherited genes are important.

Lobular Breast Cancer Gene Prevent Breast Cancer Charity UK

About this Project

We have identified 211 familial lobular breast cancer samples without germline mutations in BRCA1, BRCA2 or CDH1 (high risk breast cancer genes). Fifteen of these samples have a Manchester score of 29 or greater without any ovarian cancer in the family. This Manchester score is associated with a high chance of an underlying genetic mutation and usually means the presence of at least 4 young onset breast cancers in the family.

We propose to perform a new technique called whole genome sequencing which can screen all 25,000 genes is a single go to identify genetic variants that may increase the risk of lobular breast cancer.  Whole genome sequencing is the process of determining the complete DNA sequence of an organism’s genome at a single time. We plan to submit these samples to Edinburgh University (part of the Scottish Genomes Partnership) for the whole genome sequencing process.

Samples from those affected who are aged less than 60 years of age will be submitted for whole genome sequencing. We have used this technique successfully to find the cause of other conditions including inherited types of cancer.

Identification of the genes that cause cancer will help to personalise appropriate screening or reassure at risk relatives and provide a starting point to develop specific treatment for this type of cancer.

To donate to this project, please click here and pick Gene Research from the list of drop down options.