Discovered an innovative technique in the fight against breast cancer
Christos Sotiriou, MD, PhD is a medical oncologist specialized in breast cancer and actively involved in the treatment of breast cancer patients. He is head of the Functional Genomics & Translational Research Unit at Jules Bordet Institute, Brussels, Belgium. Dr. Sotiriou’s research focuses on genomics and molecular biology in breast cancer.
Sotiriou and his research team developed a method according to which millions of women with breast cancer -of low danger- can avoid preventive chemotherapy, after the surgical treatment of the cancer. What they did is that they were able to decode the genetic profile of the tumor. Such a method could allow us to judge efficiently which women that suffer from breast cancer will be needing chemotherapy or hormonotherapy.
Dr. Christos Sotiriou earned a medical degree from the Université Libre de Bruxelles, Belgium, in 1993. He did his internal medicine/oncology residency at the Institut Jules Bordet and earned his specialty in this field in July 1999. From October 1999 through September 2001, he worked as basic research fellow, at the Division of Clinical Sciences, National Cancer Institute, National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, MD, USA.
After having completed a PhD Thesis at the Université Libre de Bruxelles in September 2004, he became “Chercheur Qualifié” (Research Faculty Member – tenured position) at the National Foundation for Scientific Research (FNRS, Belgium) in 2005.
In March 2010, he took over the lead of the Breast Cancer Translational Research Laboratory J-C Heuson. In October 2013, he was appointed “Maître de Recherche” (Senior Research Associate – tenured position) by the National Foundation for Scientific Research (FNRS, Belgium), and also one of the “Chefs de Clinique” (Heads of clinic) at the Medical Oncology Clinic of the Institut Jules Bordet.
He is Elected Member of the Scientific Council of the International Agency for Research on Cancer (World Health Organisation 2012 – 2016) and Elected Fellow of the European Academy of Cancer Sciences (since 2010), which is hosted under the auspices of European CanCer Organization (ECCO). He is also Advisory Council Member of the Susan G. Komen for the Cure (since June 2010).
Dr. Sotiriou is reviewer for several high impact peer-reviewed journals. He has been elected associated editor of the Annals of Oncology Journal (Breast tumors) (January 2014-December 2015). Internationally renowned researcher, author and co-author of over 160 peer-reviewed articles, Dr. Sotiriou is focusing his research on genomics in breast cancer.
Dr. Sotiriou’s group has been studying the impact of pregnancy on breast cancer biology by analyzing tumor samples that were obtained from pregnant breast cancer patients. In a comparison of breast cancer diagnosed during pregnancy to breast cancer in non-pregnant women of a similar age, Dr. Sotiriou found that the tumors diagnosed during pregnancy had gene profiles that are associated with cancer-related pathways. He believes that this may be due to developmental changes in the breast during pregnancy that may influence the biology of these tumors. In the last year, his group began the process of whole genome sequencing of tumors from patients diagnosed during pregnancy and to compare them to tumors arising in non-pregnant patients. Understanding the effect of pregnancy on breast cancer biology could help identify better treatment strategies and provide insights into possible chemo-preventive options.