The Loi lab focuses on breast cancer genomics, immunology of breast cancer and developing new therapeutics

Professor Loi is a medical oncologist specialising in the treatment of breast cancer and a clinician scientist who leads the Translational Breast Cancer Genomics and Therapeutics Laboratory. Her research team is internationally recognised for its use of genomic and immunological approaches to understand mechanisms of breast cancer growth and drug resistance.

The lab primary focus is to develop new therapeutic approaches for breast cancer patients incorporating both genomics and immunology. The immune microenvironment plays a critical role in the prognosis of some types of breast cancers, particularly the triple-negative and HER2-positive breast cancers. At present, the aim of the lab is to understand why some patients do or do not show an immune anti-tumour response. To this purpose, we try to decipher the specific tumour-intrinsic mechanisms that lead to different breast cancer immune phenotypes. Understanding the spectrum of immune responses according to tumour genomic and immune phenotype will help us design future studies of rational combinations that can effectively reactivate beneficial anti-tumour immunity in breast cancer patients and lead to improved survival. To help us measure immune responses in breast cancer, visit www.tilsinbreastcancer.org

Professor Loi also has a busy breast cancer clinical practise where she specialises in the management and treatment of breast cancer patients, in particular patients with HER2-positive breast cancer. She also leads the Breast Cancer Clinical Trials Unit (PCCTU) across the VCCC precinct and has an active interest in early drug development. She leads international trials focusing on new targeted and immune agents, allowing first time access for Victorian women to these breakthrough therapies. Examples of this are: Palbociclib in Hormone-Receptor-Positive Advanced Breast Cancer and HER kinase inhibition in patients with HER2- and HER3-mutant cancers

The Breast Unit Medical Oncology service is unique in Australia, as it incorporates genomic and immunological tests both in tumour and blood into the routine management of patients to determine the best possible treatment options in a multidisciplinary setting. More information can be found in the Cancer Therapeutics and Translational Haematology Program page.

Professor Loi is actively involved in the Breast Cancer Trials Group (BCT) and the International Breast Cancer Study Group (IBCSG) and the Breast International Group.

For any queries regarding the Loi Lab, please contact Jeannette Parrodi ([email protected])

For clinical trials and patient appointments, please visit the Peter Mac Breast Service page or contact Jeannette Parrodi ([email protected])

Prof Loi is proud to be named a 2018 Highly Cited Researcher, ranking among the top 1% of researchers for most cited documents in the year.

Prof Loi is proud to be named a 2018 Highly Cited Researcher, ranking among the top 1% of researchers for most cited documents in the year

People

Dr Chris Mintoff, Laboratory Manager
Ms Jeannette Parrodi, Personal Assistant to Professor Sherene Loi
Dr Peter Savas, Medical Oncology Consultant; PhD Student
Dr Stephen Luen, Medical Oncology Consultant; PhD Student
Dr Alice Bergin, Breast Clinical Trials Fellow
Dr Roberto Salgado, Pathologist
Ms Sathana Dushyanthen, PhD Student
Ms Ann Byrne, PhD Student
Dr Ran Li, Surgical Oncology Research Fellow; PhD Student
Ms Courtney Van Geelen, PhD Student
Mr Balaji Virassamy, PhD Student
Dr Christophe Lefevre, Bioinformatician
Dr Suling Lin, Bioinformatician
Dr Joyce Teo, Postdoctoral Fellow
Dr Sneha Sant, Postdoctoral Researcher
Mr Franco Caramia, Bioinformatician; PhD Student
Ms Emmaline Brown , Research Assistant
Ms Keilly Kuykhoven, Research Assistant
Mr Luke Percy, Research Assistant
Ms Stephanie Versaci, Research Assistant

Key publications

Schmid P, Adams S, Rugo HS, Schneeweiss A, Barrios CH, Iwata H, Diéras V, Hegg R, Im SA, Shaw Wright G, Henschel V, Molinero L, Chui SY, Funke R, Husain A, Winer EP, Loi S, Emens LA (2018). Atezolizumab and Nab-Paclitaxel in Advanced Triple-Negative Breast Cancer. New England Journal of Medicine. Oct 20.

Savas P, Virassamy B, Ye C, Salim A, Mintoff CP, Caramia F, Salgado R, Byrne DJ, Teo ZL, Dushyanthen S, Byrne A, Wein L, Luen SJ, Poliness C, Nightingale SS, Skandarajah AS, Gyorki DE, Thornton CM, Beavis PA, Fox SB, Kathleen Cuningham Foundation Consortium for Research into Familial Breast Cancer (kConFab), Darcy PK, Speed TP, Mackay LK, Neeson P, Loi S (2018). Single-cell profiling of breast cancer T cells reveals a tissue-resident memory subset associated with improved prognosis. Nature Medicine. Jun 25:1.

Nolan E, Savas P, Policheni AN, Darcy PK, Vaillant F, Mintoff CP, Dushyanthen S, Mansour M, Pang JB, Fox SB; Kathleen Cuningham Foundation Consortium for Research into Familial Breast Cancer(kConFab), Perou CM, Visvader JE, Gray DHD, Loi S, Lindeman GJ (2017).  Combined immune checkpoint blockade as a therapeutic strategy for BRCA1 mutated breast cancer. Sci Transl Med. Jun 7;9(393).

Savas P, Salgado R, Denkert C, Sotiriou C, Darcy PK, Smyth MJ, Loi S (2016). Clinical relevance of host immunity in breast cancer: from TILs to the clinic. Nat Rev Clin Oncol.13(4):228-41.

Turner NC, Ro J, André F, Loi S, Verma S, Iwata H, Harbeck N, Loibl S, Huang Bartlett C, Zhang K, Giorgetti C, Randolph S, Koehler M, Cristofanilli M, PALOMA3 Study Group (2015). Palbociclib in Hormone-Receptor-Positive Advanced Breast Cancer. N Engl J Med.373(3):209-19.

Salgado R, Denkert C, Demaria S, Sirtaine N, Klauschen F, Pruneri G, Wienert S, Van den Eynden G, Baehner FL, Penault-Llorca F, Perez EA, Thompson EA, Symmans WF, Richardson AL, Brock J, Criscitiello C, Bailey H, Ignatiadis M, Floris G, Sparano J, Kos Z, Nielsen T, Rimm DL, Allison KH, Reis-Filho JS, Loibl S, Sotiriou C, Viale G, Badve S, Adams S, Willard-Gallo K, Loi S (2015). International TILs Working Group. The evaluation of tumor-infiltrating lymphocytes (TILs) in breast cancer: recommendations by an International TILs Working Group 2014. Ann Oncol.26(2):259-71.

Research programs

Positions available

The Loi Lab is always looking for talented bioinformatics students and post-docs interested in immunology and genomics of breast cancer. If interested, please send CV, academic transcripts and areas of interest to [email protected]

Medical oncology trainees interested in our breast cancer trials fellow position are also encouraged to send their CVs to [email protected]. Applications open in August.