Research aims to understand the mechanisms of cancer.

CANCER RESEARCH is trying to forge ahead in two of the most common battles in treating breast cancer – the spread of cancer to other parts of the body and resistance to traditional treatments. In the early stages of the disease, the large majority of breast cancers use oestrogen to fuel their growth. The current treatments we have target this aspect with anti-hormone therapies and, as a result, has led to the extensive remissions we have witnessed in breast cancer patients over the past two decades. Unfortunately, more than a third of patients who initially responded to this treatment, will eventually develop what is known as endocrine-resistance as the disease progresses and will no longer be receptive to traditional anti-hormone therapies.

Cancer stem cells make up less than 1% of the tumour mass but are thought to represent a critical cell type that are res-ponsible for many of the aggressive features of cancer including metastasis and treatment resistance. The research teams have sought to identify this rare cell population in breast tumors and determine their significance. Their findings showed the expression pattern of specific stem cell markers in breast tumors can determine the path of the disease. Read more…

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