The role of steroid hormones in breast cancer stem cells

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Breast cancer stem cells (BCSCs) are potent tumor-initiating cells in breast cancer, the most common cancer among women. BCSCs have been suggested to play a key role in tumor initiation which can lead to disease progression and formation of metastases. Moreover, BCSCs are thought to be the unit of selection for therapy-resistant clones since they survive conventional treatments, such as chemotherapy, irradiation, and hormonal therapy. The importance of the role of hormones for both normal mammary gland and breast cancer development is well established, but it was not until recently that the effects of hormones on BCSCs have been investigated. This review will discuss recent studies highlighting how ovarian steroid hormones estrogen and progesterone, as well as therapies against them, can regulate BCSC activity.

Bibliographical metadata

Original languageEnglish
Article numberERC-15-0350
Pages (from-to)177-186
Number of pages9
JournalEndocrine-related cancer
Volume22 (6):T177-86
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 17 Sep 2015