Atlas of Lobular Breast Cancer Models: Challenges and Strategic Directions

George Sflomos, Koen Schipper, Thijs Koorman, Amanda Fitzpatrick, Steffi Oesterreich, Adrian Lee, Jos Jonkers, Valerie G Brunton, Matthias Christgen, Clare Isacke, Patrick W.B. Derksen, Cathrin Brisken*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


Invasive lobular carcinoma (ILC) accounts for up to 15% of all breast cancer (BC) cases and responds well to endocrine treatment when ER+ yet differs in many biological aspects from other ER+ BC subtypes. Up to 30% of patients with ILC will develop late-onset metastatic disease up to ten years after initial tumor diagnosis and may experience failure of systemic therapy. Unfortunately, preclinical models to study ILC progression and predict the efficacy of novel therapeutics are scarce. Here, we review the current advances in ILC modeling, including cell lines and organotypic models, genetically engineered mouse models, and patient-derived xenografts. We also underscore four critical challenges that can be addressed using ILC models: drug resistance, lobular
tumor microenvironment, tumor dormancy, and metastasis. Finally, we highlight the advantages of shared experimental ILC resources and provide essential considerations from the perspective of the European Lobular Breast Cancer Consortium (ELBCC), which is devoted to better understandingand translating the molecular cues that underpin ILC to clinical diagnosis and intervention. This
review will guide investigators who are considering the implementation of ILC models in their research
Original languageEnglish
Early online date27 Oct 2021
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 27 Oct 2021


  • invasive lobular breast carcinoma
  • experimental models
  • metastasis
  • PDX
  • GEMM
  • tumor organoids
  • animal models
  • cell lines
  • translational research


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