About DCIS & DCIS Research

Ductal carcinoma in situ (DCIS) is a noninvasive breast cancer. In some women, DCIS lesions will progress to invasive cancer, although at present we cannot accurately identify these high risk patients. DCIS is also called intraductal carcinoma.

Histologically, the defining features of DCIS include:

  • malignant cytologic features;
  • involvement of two duct cross-sections and/or involvement of more than 2mm (in diameter) of duct;
  • malignant cells confined to the basement membrane of the duct; and
  • single cells or angular clusters that are not present outside specialized stroma of the lobule.

Most DCIS is currently diagnosed on a routine screening mammogram, although patients may also present with signs or symptoms (e.g., breast lump). Current treatment options for DCIS range from lumpectomy alone, to excision with radiotherapy with or without hormonal therapy, to mastectomy. There is no consensus on which patients should receive these different therapies.

Due largely to the increase of and improvement in mammographic screening there has been a significant increase in the diagnosis of DCIS and DCIS is a growing area of basic and applied research. Recognizing the importance of this area of research, the National Cancer Institute supported a workshop entitled "Ductal Carcinoma in Situ: Strategies for Integrating Tumor Biology and Populations Sciences Workshop", which brought together DCIS researchers from population sciences, basic sciences and clinical trials as well as experts in collaborative research. As a result of that workshop, this Web site was launched to facilitate communication between researchers and to stimulate ideas and collaborations.

This Web site provides researchers with important information about DCIS, including summaries and presentations from the workshop, research resources, and resources for collaboration. This Web site also provides information on key priorities in DCIS research as well as information on relevant funding opportunities for DCIS research.

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Last modified:
29 Oct 2007
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