Vassiliki Kotoula, M.D., Ph.D
Department of Pathology, School of Medicine, Aristotle University of Thessaloniki (AUTH) &
Laboratory of Molecular Oncology, Hellenic Foundation for Cancer Research (HeFCR) /
Hellenic Cooperative Oncology Group (HeCOG) / AUTH
Vassiliki Kotoula (VK) is an associate professor in Pathology specialized in Molecular Pathology. She received her M.D. from AUTH (1982), her Ph.D on experimental pathology and cancer prophylaxis from AUTH (1992). As an M.D., she is a certified Cytopathologist. She was trained in basic research and applied molecular biology and genetics, primarily for tissue research and diagnostics, at the Dept. of Pathology, NCI, NIH, Bethesda, MD (Lab. of Pediatric Pathology, 1995 – 1997). In 1998, she developed a laboratory for tissue molecular diagnostics within the Dept of Pathology, AUTH, which she continues to supervise in performing all major molecular tests on routine histologic material (FFPE) for research and diagnostic (respective certificates for KRAS and EGFR mutation testing since 2010 and 2013) purposes. In 2009, in collaboration with HeFCR and HeCOG, two non-profit organizations in Greece promoting clinical and translational cancer research, she developed and has since supported and scientifically supervised the Laboratory of Molecular Oncology (LMO or MOL), located within the Dept of Pathology, AUTH, where she devoted most of her time and efforts. In 2013, she introduced next generation sequencing with multigene panels on FFPE tissues in MOL. To date, MOL has genotyped and analyzed more than 5000 tumors along with histology and patient data from the repository and databases by HeCOG.
The central idea behind all VK’s efforts is bridging knowledge gaps between pathology, clinical practice, molecular biology and genetics. Her major field of interest is translational cancer research in the context of cancer genetics and genomics for tumor typing in the context of personalized / precision medicine. As a pathologist, she is interested in studying genetic and phenotypic alterations in tumors and microenvironment, including tumor immune infiltrates. In this context, she has designed and conducted numerous studies and developed protocols and assays for the application of molecular methods on FFPE tissues / matched germline, and interpretation of results. At the academic level, in the last 20 years, she has been actively involved instructing issues on molecular pathology and cancer genetics to pathologists and clinicians.
Representative recent relevant publications (PubMed: Kotoula V)
Fountzilas G, Psyrri A, …, Kotoula V. Prevalent somatic BRCA1 mutations shape clinically relevant genomic patterns of nasopharyngeal carcinoma in Southeast Europe. Int J Cancer. 2018 Jan 1;142(1):66-80. PMID 28857155
Papadopoulou K, Murray S, …, Kotoula V. Genotyping and mRNA profiling reveal actionable molecular targets in biliary tract cancers. Am J Cancer Res. 2018 Jan 1;8(1):2-15. PMID 29416916
Tsakiri K, Kotoula V, …, Fountzilas G. Crizotinib Failure in a TPM4-ALK–Rearranged Inflammatory Myofibroblastic Tumor With an Emerging ALK Kinase Domain Mutation JCO Precision Oncology 2017 :1, 1-7. http://ascopubs.org/doi/abs/10.1200/PO.17.00015
Kotoula V, Fostira F, …, Fountzilas G. The fate of BRCA1-related germline mutations in triple-negative breast tumors. Am J Cancer Res. 2017 Jan 1;7(1):98-114. PMID 28123851
Kotoula V, Lakis S, …, Fountzilas G. Tumor Infiltrating Lymphocytes Affect the Outcome of Patients with Operable Triple-Negative Breast Cancer in Combination with Mutated Amino Acid Classes. PLoS One. 2016 Sep 29;11(9):e0163138. PMID 27685159
Kotoula V, Karavasilis V, …, Fountzilas G. Effects of TP53 and PIK3CA mutations in early breast cancer: a matter of co-mutation and tumor-infiltrating lymphocytes. Breast Cancer Res Treat. 2016 Jul;158(2):307-21. PMID 27369359
Kotoula V, Chatzopoulos K, …, Fountzilas G. Tumors with high-density tumor infiltrating lymphocytes constitute a favorable entity in breast cancer: a pooled analysis of four prospective adjuvant trials. Oncotarget. 2016 Jan 26;7(4):5074-87. PMID 26506242