Description: Breast cancer is one of the most clear-cut examples of a solid tumor in which systemic cues play a decisive part in its development. The breast tissue is constantly subjected to changes in hormone levels and modifications in the microenvironment. This scenario is even more striking during tumor development because of the dramatic loss or aberration of basement membrane (BM) and myoepithelial cells and the gain of peritumoral myofibroblasts. We suggest that the microenvironment, defined here as all components of the mammary gland other than luminal and/or tumor epithelial cells, might be instrumental in maintaining organ integrity and in promoting, and at times even initiating, breast cancer development. As such, the tumor microenvironment and its constituents, alone or in combination, might serve as promising targets for therapy.
Date: November 16, 2008
Creator: Ronnov-Jessen, Lone & Bissell, Mina J
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