Therese Sørlie

Dr. Therese Sørlie
Tumor initiating cells in breast cancer progression 
Dept. of Genetics
Institute for Cancer Research
Oslo University Hospital, 
The Norwegian Radium Hospital
Tel +47 22 78 13 64




Our research interests are in functional genomics and breast cancer. We are using DNA microarrays to study patterns of gene expression in clinical breast cancer samples. By using this technology in combination with statistical and bioinformatical tools, we have been able to identify specific patterns of gene expression that provided distinctive molecular portraits of breast tumors.

One or more of these distinct tumor subtypes are believed to have a stem cell origin. Within this consortium we will work closely with other partners to characterize stem cell-like cells and progenitor cells with the aim of increasing of knowledge of the origin of different breast cancer subtypes as well as identifying pathways important for tumor development.


active in CAST

Anita Langerød 
Senior Scientist 


Aslaug Aamodt Muggerud


Eldrid Borgan
PhD student


Hayat Mohammed


Hege G Russnes


Hilde Johnsen


Simen Myhre


Department leader: Anne-Lise Børresen-Dale



Wnt signaling is important for mammary gland development and is implicated in mammary oncogenesis. LGR5 is a downstream target of Wnt, it marks stem cells with an active Hh pathway in the intestine and skin and Lgr5+ cells were recently
found to be sufficient and essential for mammary gland organogenesis. In many cell types the Hh and Wnt pathways are counter regulated. Understanding the interplay between these pathways and their regulation in stem cells can help identify novel diagnostic and therapeutic targets.

To address the role of the Hh and Wnt pathways in mammary tumor development, we have established chemically and genetically inducible mouse mammary gland tumor models. In particular, we breed transgenic mice expressing the Hh pathway effector GLI1 or the stem cell marker LGR5 in the mammary epithelium. In addition, we breed transgenic mice for analyses of Lgr5 expression pattern in normal and tumor tissue as well as lineage tracing from Lgr5+ cells.



Myhre SLingjærde OCHennessy BTAure MRCarey MSAlsner JTramm TOvergaard JMills GBBørresen-Dale ALSørlie T (2013)
Influence of DNA copy number and mRNA levels on the expression of breast cancer related proteins
Mol Oncol7 (3)704-18
PubMed 23562353

Nerum HHalvorsen LStraume BSørlie TØian P (2013)
Different labour outcomes in primiparous women that have been subjected to childhood sexual abuse or rape in adulthood: a case-control study in a clinical cohort
BJOG120 (4)487-95
PubMed 23157417

Borgan ELindholm EMMoestue SMælandsmo GMLingjærde OCGribbestad ISBørresen-Dale ALEngebraaten OSørlie T (2013)
Subtype-specific response to bevacizumab is reflected in the metabolome and transcriptome of breast cancer xenografts
Mol Oncol7 (1)130-42
PubMed 23142657

Kim JVilladsen RSørlie TFogh LGrønlund SZFridriksdottir AJKuhn IRank FWielenga VTSolvang HEdwards PABørresen-Dale ALRønnov-Jessen LBissell MJPetersen OW (2012)
Tumor initiating but differentiated luminal-like breast cancer cells are highly invasive in the absence of basal-like activity
Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A109 (16)6124-9
PubMed 22454501

Kristensen VNVaske CJUrsini-Siegel JVan Loo PNordgard SHSachidanandam RSørlie TWärnberg FHaakensen VDHelland ÅNaume BPerou CMHaussler DTroyanskaya OGBørresen-Dale AL (2012)
Integrated molecular profiles of invasive breast tumors and ductal carcinoma in situ (DCIS) reveal differential vascular and interleukin signaling
Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A109 (8)2802-7
PubMed 21908711

Borgan ENavon RVollan HKSchlichting ESauer TYakhini ZLingjærde OCSørlie TBørresen-Dale AL (2011)
Ischemia caused by time to freezing induces systematic microRNA and mRNA responses in cancer tissue
Mol Oncol5 (6)564-76
PubMed 21917534

Sørlie T (2011)
How to personalise treatment in early breast cancer
Eur J Cancer47 Suppl 3S310-1
PubMed 21943994

Akslen LAStraume OGeisler SSørlie TChi JTAas TBørresen-Dale ALLønning PE (2011)
Glomeruloid microvascular proliferation is associated with lack of response to chemotherapy in breast cancer
Br J Cancer105 (1)9-12
PubMed 21673677

Zhao XRødland EASørlie TNaume BLangerød AFrigessi AKristensen VNBørresen-Dale ALLingjærde OC (2011)
Combining gene signatures improves prediction of breast cancer survival
PLoS One6 (3)e17845
PubMed 21423775

Myhre SMohammed HTramm TAlsner JFinak GPark MOvergaard JBørresen-Dale ALFrigessi ASørlie T (2010)
In silico ascription of gene expression differences to tumor and stromal cells in a model to study impact on breast cancer outcome
PLoS One5 (11)e14002
PubMed 21124964

Borgan ESitter BLingjærde OCJohnsen HLundgren SBathen TFSørlie TBørresen-Dale ALGribbestad IS (2010)
Merging transcriptomics and metabolomics--advances in breast cancer profiling
BMC Cancer10628
PubMed 21080935

Muggerud AAHallett MJohnsen HKleivi KZhou WTahmasebpoor SAmini RMBotling JBørresen-Dale ALSørlie TWärnberg F (2010)
Molecular diversity in ductal carcinoma in situ (DCIS) and early invasive breast cancer
Mol Oncol4 (4)357-68
PubMed 20663721

Russnes HGVollan HKLingjaerde OCKrasnitz ALundin PNaume BSørlie TBorgen ERye IHLangerød AChin SFTeschendorff AEStephens PJMånér S,Schlichting EBaumbusch LOKåresen RStratton MPWigler MCaldas CZetterberg AHicks JBørresen-Dale AL (2010)
Genomic architecture characterizes tumor progression paths and fate in breast cancer patients
Sci Transl Med2 (38)38ra47
PubMed 20592421

Muggerud AARønneberg JAWärnberg FBotling JBusato FJovanovic JSolvang HBukholm IBørresen-Dale ALKristensen VNSørlie TTost J (2010)
Frequent aberrant DNA methylation of ABCB1, FOXC1, PPP2R2B and PTEN in ductal carcinoma in situ and early invasive breast cancer
Breast Cancer Res12 (1)R3
PubMed 20056007

Bergamaschi AHjortland GOTriulzi TSørlie TJohnsen HRee AHRussnes HGTronnes SMaelandsmo GMFodstad OBorresen-Dale ALEngebraaten O (2009)
Molecular profiling and characterization of luminal-like and basal-like in vivo breast cancer xenograft models
Mol Oncol3 (5-6)469-82
PubMed 19713161

Agarwal RGonzalez-Angulo AMMyhre SCarey MLee JSOvergaard JAlsner JStemke-Hale KLluch ANeve RMKuo WLSorlie TSahin AValero VKeyomarsi KGray JWBorresen-Dale ALMills GBHennessy BT (2009)
Integrative analysis of cyclin protein levels identifies cyclin b1 as a classifier and predictor of outcomes in breast cancer
Clin Cancer Res15 (11)3654-62
PubMed 19470724

Zhou WMuggerud AAVu PDue EUSørlie TBørresen-Dale ALWärnberg FLangerød A (2009)
Full sequencing of TP53 identifies identical mutations within in situ and invasive components in breast cancer suggesting clonal evolution
Mol Oncol3 (3)214-9
PubMed 19403344

Muggerud AAEdgren HWolf MKleivi KDejeux ETost JSørlie TKallioniemi O (2009)
Data integration from two microarray platforms identifies bi-allelic genetic inactivation of RIC8A in a breast cancer cell line
BMC Med Genomics226
PubMed 19432969

Nordgard SHAlnaes GIHihn BLingjaerde OCLiestøl KTsalenko ASørlie TLønning PEBørresen-Dale ALKristensen VN (2008)
Pathway based analysis of SNPs with relevance to 5-FU therapy: relation to intratumoral mRNA expression and survival
Int J Cancer123 (3)577-85
PubMed 18498133

Bergamaschi ATagliabue ESørlie TNaume BTriulzi TOrlandi RRussnes HGNesland JMTammi RAuvinen PKosma VMMénard SBørresen-Dale AL (2008)
Extracellular matrix signature identifies breast cancer subgroups with different clinical outcome
J Pathol214 (3)357-67
PubMed 18044827

Naume BZhao XSynnestvedt MBorgen ERussnes HGLingjaerde OCStrømberg MWiedswang GKvalheim GKåresen RNesland JMBørresen-Dale ALSørlie T (2007)
Presence of bone marrow micrometastasis is associated with different recurrence risk within molecular subtypes of breast cancer
Mol Oncol1 (2)160-71
PubMed 19383292


Therese Sørlie laboratory