Triple-negative breast cancer may begin, not in stem cells as previously thought, but in cells called intermediaries or progenitors. Research by British scientists published today in the journal Cell Stem Cell may provide new insight into what causes this disease, which is not fueled by hormones. The study—laboratory research on mice—may lead to therapies targeted at faulty cell signals. Medical News Today did a thorough article on the research, quoting head researcher Matt Smalley, from the Breakthrough Breast Cancer Research Centre at The Institute of Cancer Research, London:
These results represent a major advance in our understanding of breast cancer. It means we can now look very closely at where the disease forms and which genes are involved in that process. This knowledge will greatly improve the chance of finding effective new targeted treatments for breast cancer patients in the future.
Source: “BRCA1 Basal-like Breast Cancers Originate from Luminal Epithelial Progenitors and Not from Basal Stem Cells” Gemma Molyneux, Felipe C. Geyer, Fiona-Ann Magnay, Afshan McCarthy, Howard Kendrick, Rachael Natrajan, Alan MacKay, Anita Grigoriadis, Andrew Tutt, Alan Ashworth, Jorge S. Reis-Filho, Matthew J. Smalley
Cell Stem Cell, Volume 7, Issue 3, 403-417, 3 September 2010. 10.1016/j.stem.2010.07.010