Implications for breast cancer dormancy in other areas of medicine
New Jersey Medical School, University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey, Newark, NJ, USA
Banys et al1 discussed the different viewpoints of breast cancer dormancy; albeit those that are supported by science. This editorial comments on the clinical implications of existing dormant cancer cells, including future decisions to treat with stem cells.
Braun et al2 reported that in cases where metastasis of breast cancer occurred in the bone marrow, this resulted in poor prognosis. As discussed by the authors, it is unclear whether breast cancer cells show tropism for an organ, or whether the cells are able to survive in a particular organ because of support from the microenvironment. Perhaps answers to this question might be clearer if a hierarchy of breast cancer cells is developed, beginning with the cancer stem cell. Depending on the cell subset, there might be a different mechanism for dormancy in an organ.
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