Consortium enables research lobular breast cancer

Consortium enables research lobular breast cancer

Researchers from UMC Utrecht and KU Leuven have set up an international consortium with the support of an EU COST grant for research into Invasive Lobular Breast Cancer (ILC). Researchers from 21 countries are participating in the project. The European Lobular Breast Cancer Consortium (ELBCC) is an initiative of scientists Patrick Derksen from the UMC Utrecht and Christine Desmedt from the KU Leuven.

With financial support from EU COST for the next four years, the consortium will:

• Coordinate European multidisciplinary research on ILC.

• Promote capacity by setting up a unique biobank, state-of-the-art models, an exclusive platform of multi-OMICs and clinical ILC data, all available to the research groups.

• Involve patients and their organizations in research at an early stage

• Advise policymakers and other key stakeholders.

• Establish an attractive research structure for ILC focused clinical trials.

• Establish a unique training program and networking opportunities for young and senior researchers fighting ILC together.

The EU-funded COST (European Cooperation in Science and Technology) Action 19138 called ‘Lobsterpot’, will be led by Patrick Derksen (UMC Utrecht) and Christine Desmedt (KU Leuven). Early career investigators from Utrecht and Leuven are also part of the Management Committee.

The intention is to create a platform that brings together basic scientists, translational researchers and clinical experts in the field of Invasive Lobular Breast Cancer. The ultimate goal is to better understand, diagnose and treat this form of recurrent breast cancer to improve the prognosis of women who suffer from it. Invasive Lobular Breast Cancer (ILC) affects 25,000 patients in Europe every year and thus has a significant social impact.

Not a decisive treatment method
Treatment of Invasive Lobular Breast Cancer (ILC) is still not optimal. Although hormone inhibitors offer an effective treatment, they fail in approximately 30% of all patients. This is problematic because ILC has the tendency to be non-responsive to chemotherapy. Despite all the research into this type of breast cancer, diagnosis and treatment need to be improved. According to the ELBCC, this is mainly due to the lack of multidisciplinary efforts. Aim is to change this by bringing together scientists from different disciplines and countries.

LOBSTERPOT closes gap in research into ILC

With the support of the COST “LOBSTERPOT", the ELBCC has started an initiative that brings together the experts in lobular breast cancer. The variety of geneticists, biologists, clinicians, data scientists, and academic trials experts, as well as ILC patient associations, provides a broad spectrum of knowledge. The ELBCC hopes in this way to better understand and treat ILC.

About COST

COST (European Cooperation in Science and Technology) provides financial support to innovative research networks in Europe. COST Actions enable researchers to expand their network and share scientific ideas. For four years, COST Actions supports research, innovation and careers.


The 21 participating countries in the consortium are Albania, Belgium, Czech Republic, Denmark, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Lithuania, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Spain, Switzerland, Turkey and the United Kingdom

Working at UMC Utrecht





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