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J. Dev. Biol. 2016, 4(1), 4;

Cell Fate Decisions During Breast Cancer Development

Department of Developmental, Molecular and Chemical Biology, Sackler School of Graduate Biomedical Sciences, Tufts University School of Medicine, 136 Harrison Ave., Boston, MA 02111, USA
Raymond and Beverly Sackler Convergence Laboratory, Tufts University School of Medicine, 145 Harrison Ave., Boston, MA 02111, USA
Molecular Oncology Research Institute, Tufts Medical Center, 800 Washington St., Boston, MA 02111, USA
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editors: Robert W. Dettman and Andy Wessels
Received: 21 November 2015 / Revised: 11 January 2016 / Accepted: 20 January 2016 / Published: 22 January 2016
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Cell Fate Decisions in Development and Disease)
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During the formation of breast cancer, many genes become altered as cells evolve progressively from normal to a pre-malignant to a malignant state of growth. How mutations in genes lead to specific subtypes of human breast cancer is only partially understood. Here we review how initial genetic or epigenetic alterations within mammary epithelial cells (MECs) can alter cell fate decisions and put pre-malignant cells on a path towards cancer development with specific phenotypes. Understanding the early stages of breast cancer initiation and progression and how normal developmental processes are hijacked during transformation has significant implications for improving early detection and prevention of breast cancer. In addition, insights gleaned from this understanding may also be important for developing subtype-specific treatment options. View Full-Text
Keywords: breast cancer; cell fate; mammary epithelial cells; plasticity; cancer heterogeneity; mammary gland breast cancer; cell fate; mammary epithelial cells; plasticity; cancer heterogeneity; mammary gland

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Gross, K.; Wronski, A.; Skibinski, A.; Phillips, S.; Kuperwasser, C. Cell Fate Decisions During Breast Cancer Development. J. Dev. Biol. 2016, 4, 4.

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