Toshima Parris in SCCR laboratory.
Toshima Parris in SCCR laboratory.
Photo: Johan Wingborg

Group Toshima Parris

Research group
Active research
Project owner
The Institute of Clinical Sciences

Short description

Translational research on breast cancer biology, therapeutics, and epidemiology.

Research summary

Triple-negative breast cancer (TNBC) is a heterogeneous and aggressive form of breast cancer with diverse clinicopathological and biological behavior. Classified as “triple-negative” due to the lack of expression of the estrogen-, progesterone-, and HER2 (human epidermal growth factor receptor 2) receptors, no standard of care with targeted agents is currently available for these patients. Therefore, recurrence is relatively common within 3 years of diagnosis and 5-year survival rates lower than other types of breast cancer. TNBCs are associated with a subpopulation of cells called breast cancer stem cells, which have been linked to distant relapse and adverse clinical outcome. 

The overall aim of our research is to identify novel therapeutic targets for TNBC that will ultimately reduce recurrence. To achieve this, we utilize bioinformatics (in silico studies) and epidemiology to develop a better understanding of cancer, in particular breast cancer. These analyses help us to identify targets for our in vitro drug screening assays and drug repurposing.

Together with our clinical and preclinical collaborators, our group has multidisciplinary expertise in breast cancer biology, medical oncology, surgical oncology, pathology, medical radiation sciences, and pharmaceutical chemistry.

Research tools and resources

  • In vitro studies: Cell lines, spheroids, patient-derived organoids, drug screening
  • Biobanking of patient samples
  • Flow cytometry, immunohistochemistry, tissue microarrays (TMA), RNA-seq, DNA methylation profiling, Immunoblot, quantitative real-time PCR (qPCR), and fluorescence in situ hybridization (FISH)
  • Bioinformatics analyses of pan-cancer data: RNA-seq, mutation signatures, DNA copy number profiling, drug sensitivity data
  • Drug repurposing: Transcriptomics- and structure-based virtual screening
  • Epidemiologic studies using national registers: Swedish National Register for Breast Cancer (NBCR), National Patient Register, and Swedish Cause of Death Register

Current group members

Toshima Parris, PhD, Associate Professor (Junior PI)
Slavica Janeva, MD, PhD, Postdoc, Senior Consultant in Surgery
Maxim Olsson, PhD student
Anna Fäldt Beding, MD, PhD student, Resident physician in Oncology

We have openings for MSc thesis projects.

Selected publications

  1. Repurposing proteasome inhibitors for improved treatment of triple-negative breast cancer.

    Larsson P, Pettersson D, Olsson M, Sarathchandra S, Abramsson A, Zetterberg H, Ittner E, Forssell-Aronsson E, Kovács A, Karlsson P, Helou K, Parris TZ. Cell Death Discov. 2024 Jan 29;10(1):57. doi: 10.1038/s41420-024-01819-5.

  2. Cancer stem cells are prevalent in the basal-like 2 and mesenchymal triple-negative breast cancer subtypes in vitro.
    Olsson M, Larsson P, Johansson J, Sah VR, Parris TZ*Front. Cell Dev. Biol., 2023
  3. Optimization of cell viability assays to improve replicability and reproducibility of cancer drug sensitivity screens.
    Larsson P, Engqvist H, Rönnerman E, Kovács A, Karlsson P, Helou K, Parris TZScientific Reports 2020
  4. Adjuvant chemotherapy and survival in women aged 70 years and older with triple-negative breast cancer: a Swedish population-based propensity score-matched analysis.
    Janeva S, Zhang C, Kovács A, Parris TZ, Crozier JA, Pezzi CM, Linderholm B, Audisio RA, Olofsson Bagge R. Lancet Healthy Longevity 2020 
  5. Pan-cancer analyses of human nuclear receptors reveal transcriptome diversity and prognostic value across cancer types.
    Parris TZ. Scientific Reports 2020
  6. Genetic alterations associated with multiple primary malignancies.
    Nyqvist J, Kovács A, Kenne Sarenmalm E, Einbeigi Z, Karlsson P, Forssell-Aronsson E, Helou K†, Parris TZ†. †Toshima Z. Parris and Khalil Helou contributed equally as last authors. Cancer Medicine 2021
  7. Comparison of breast cancer surrogate subtyping using a closed-system RT-qPCR breast cancer assay and immunohistochemistry on 100 core needle biopsies with matching surgical specimens.
    Janeva S, Parris TZ, Nasic S, De Lara S, Larsson K, Audisio RA, Olofsson Bagge R, and Kovács A. Xpert® BMC Cancer 2021 
  8. Pan-cancer analysis of genomic and transcriptomic data reveals the prognostic relevance of human proteasome genes in different cancer types.
    Larsson P, Pettersson D, Engqvist H, Rönnerman E, Forssell-Aronsson E, Kovács A, Karlsson P, Helou K, Parris TZBMC Cancer 2022 Sep 19;22(1):993.
  9. Pan-cancer analysis identifies BIRC5 as a prognostic marker.
    Fäldt Beding A, Larsson P, Helou K, Einbeigi Z, Parris TZBMC Cancer 2022 
  10. Trefoil factor family (TFF) proteins as potential diagnostic markers for mucinous invasive ovarian carcinoma.
    Werner Rönnerman E, Pettersson D, Nemes S, Dahm-Kähler P, Kovács A, Parris TZ, Helou K. †Toshima Z. Parris and Khalil Helou contributed equally as last authors. Front Oncol. 2023 Feb 2;12:1112152. 
  11. Clinical evaluation of molecular surrogate subtypes in patients with ipsilateral multifocal primary breast cancer.
    Janeva S, Krabbe E, Parris TZ, Nasic S, Sundquist M, Karlsson P, Audisio RA, Olofsson Bagge R, and Kovács A. Breast Cancer Research 2023 (in press).

More group Toshima Parris publications on PubMed

Toshima Parris
Photo: Malin Arnesson

Contact information

Toshima Parris

E-mail: Toshima Parris

Visiting address:
Sahlgrenska Center
for Cancer Research,
Medicinaregatan 1F
413 90 Gothenburg