Do breast cancers develop the same way as fetal breast stem cells? Scientists at the Salk Institute of Biologic Studies think so. And their recent research, published in Cell Stem Cell (February 2, 2012), opens important avenues for the study of the molecular structure of breast cancer—and its cure.

But here’s the most compelling part of the research: Breast stem cells that develop in mice fetuses right before birth have specific characteristics that are similar to triple-negative breast cancer cells.

What this means to us: Isolating the molecular structure of fetal breast cells can help determine the makeup of triple-negative breast cancer, which means a better understanding of the disease and more chance of the development of treatment options.

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