To create a unique collection of primary and metastatic breast cancer tissues obtained from patients following surgery, biopsy or rapid autopsy for basic and translational research.
Whilst new and effective therapies for breast cancer have been developed in recent years, approximately 15-20% of breast cancer patients still die, primarily due to our inability to control their metastatic disease. The clonal evolution of breast cancer metastases and the complex heterogeneity of metastatic spread presents challenges to achieving effective therapeutic responses and our current inability to access metastatic tissues for research purposes limits progress.
To support research towards better control and hopefully cure, we have initiated a rapid autopsy program for access to metastatic tissues coupled with treatment information and clinical outcome. Funded by NBCF, BROCADE is a open access national program of tissue collection from donors who consent the use of their tissues for as yet unspecified research. BROCADE also banks primary breast cancers from surgical resections and biopsies. As a national program, BROCADE recruits donors through Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre, Royal Brisbane Womens and Childrens Hospital, Fiona Stanley Hospital and Royal Perth Hospital. Plans to establish tissue collection in Sydney are underway.
So far, we have completed six rapid autopsies. Of these patients, five had ER+PR+Her2neg cancers; the other patient had triple negative disease. Metastases were recovered from 5-29 tissues and processed in different ways. Metastases were implanted into mammary glands of immunocompromised mice to generate patient-derived xenograft (PDX) models for subsequent experimentation relating to drug responsiveness, heterogeneity and clonal evolution. Tissues were also fresh frozen for genomic analysis, viably frozen for subsequent PDX and organoid studies and processed for FFPE for immunohistochemistry.