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Christos Sotiriou, MD, PhD

Head of the Translational Breast Cancer Laboratory
Free University of Brussels
Institut Jules Bordet
Brussels, Belgium

Current Research

  • Seeking new treatments for patients with advanced lobular breast cancer 
  • An in-depth analysis of matched primary and metastatic tumors from patients with invasive lobular breast cancer (ILC) is conducted to identify genomic alterations that could provide clues to new treatments and preventive strategies.

  • ILC is poorly understood, particularly in the metastatic setting. These studies could open new doors to personalized treatment for these patients.

Invasive lobular breast cancer (ILC) is the second most common histological subtype of breast cancer, affecting about 25,000 patients in the US on an annual basis. However, this disease is still treated similarly to the more common ductal carcinoma due to a relative lack of dedicated research.

Recent reports from Dr. Sotiriou’s group and others have provided novel insight into the genomic aberrations that distinguish early stage lobular breast cancer from ductal carcinomas that may explain their unique clinical behavior. However, little is known regarding metastatic lobular breast cancer, which differs from metastatic ductal cancers in that ILC can spread to unusual sites, including the gastrointestinal tract, peritoneum, and the adjoining tissue between organs.

In the upcoming year, Dr. Sotiriou will decipher the genomic abnormalities that characterize metastatic ILC, as well as the mechanisms associated with endocrine resistance in this disease. Using state-of-the-art sequencing technologies, he will analyze DNA from an invaluable series of lobular breast cancer patients with available matched primary and metastatic lesions.

This work represents a unique opportunity to establish new avenues towards personalized care for metastatic lobular breast cancer patients. 


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. Dr. Sotiriou is a full member of ASCO, AACR, and ESMO. 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.

BCRF Investigator Since


Area(s) of Focus