Some breast cancer tumors may not originate from stem cells as previously believed, according to a study published in the September 3rd issue of Cell Stem Cell. The discovery is an important step in the development of treatments for these cancers.
BRCA1 structure
Image: Wikimedia commons,
"Understanding the origins of these types of breast cancer is not only critical for developing preventative strategies against the disease but also for developing new targeted therapies," said linkurl:Matthew Smalley,; a mammary cell biologist at the Breakthrough Breast Cancer Centre in London and lead author on the study. For years, scientists have believed that most breast cancers originated from basal stem cells, which have the ability to give rise to any of the breast tissues. But comparing mice expressing mutant versions of the BRCA1 gene, which is known to cause breast cancer, in different breast cell types, Smalley and his colleagues discovered...
BRCA1BRCA1BRCA1BRCA1G. Molyneux, et al., "BRCA1 basal-like breast cancers originate from luminal epithelial progenitors and not from basal stem cells," Cell Stem Cell 7:403-17, 2010.

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