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Kristian Pietras

Kristian Pietras

Research team manager

Kristian Pietras

Microenvironmental control of breast cancer subtype elicited through paracrine platelet-derived growth factor-CC signaling


  • Pernilla Roswall
  • Matteo Bocci
  • Michael Bartoschek
  • Hong Li
  • Glen Kristiansen
  • Sara Jansson
  • Sophie Lehn
  • Jonas Sjölund
  • Steven Reid
  • Christer Larsson
  • Pontus Eriksson
  • Charlotte Anderberg
  • Eliane Cortez
  • Lao H Saal
  • Christina Orsmark-Pietras
  • Eugenia Cordero
  • Bengt Kristian Haller
  • Jari Häkkinen
  • Ingrid J G Burvenich
  • Elgene Lim
  • Akira Orimo
  • Mattias Höglund
  • Lisa Rydén
  • Holger Moch
  • Andrew M Scott
  • Ulf Eriksson
  • Kristian Pietras

Summary, in English

Breast tumors of the basal-like, hormone receptor-negative subtype remain an unmet clinical challenge, as there is high rate of recurrence and poor survival in patients following treatment. Coevolution of the malignant mammary epithelium and its underlying stroma instigates cancer-associated fibroblasts (CAFs) to support most, if not all, hallmarks of cancer progression. Here we delineate a previously unappreciated role for CAFs as determinants of the molecular subtype of breast cancer. We identified paracrine crosstalk between cancer cells expressing platelet-derived growth factor (PDGF)-CC and CAFs expressing the cognate receptors in human basal-like mammary carcinomas. Genetic or pharmacological intervention of PDGF-CC activity in mouse models of cancer resulted in conversion of basal-like breast cancers into a hormone receptor-positive state that enhanced sensitivity to endocrine therapy in previously resistant tumors. We conclude that specification of breast cancer to the basal-like subtype is under microenvironmental control and is therapeutically actionable.


  • Division of Translational Cancer Research
  • Experimental oncology
  • Breastcancer-genetics
  • The Liquid Biopsy and Tumor Progression in Breast Cancer
  • Tumor Cell Biology
  • BioCARE: Biomarkers in Cancer Medicine improving Health Care, Education and Innovation
  • Translational Oncogenomics
  • Division of Clinical Genetics

Publishing year







Nature Medicine



Document type

Journal article


Nature Publishing Group


  • Cancer and Oncology



Research group

  • Experimental oncology
  • The Liquid Biopsy and Tumor Progression in Breast Cancer
  • Tumor Cell Biology
  • Translational Oncogenomics


  • ISSN: 1546-170X