Breast Cancer Stem Cells & Cancer Stem Cells and Their Treatments

Gabrielle Byus


Breast cancer is a deadly disease that affects women around the world. Although there have been many advancements in technology for breast cancer treatment, drug resistance and the regeneration of tumors through breast cancer stem cells have increased the danger of this disease. Breast cancer tumors are made of many diverse cell types that have different proliferation potentials. Like other cancers, breast cancer is thought to rise from multiple series of mutations that occur based on internal and external environmental factors. The genetic mutations lead to proto-oncogenes activating into oncogenes as well as the inactivation of tumor suppressor genes. In the case of breast cancer, the cancer cells are found in the mammary epithelium within the breast, which contains many adult stem cells. The mammary gland within the breast develops mostly during puberty. This gland is associated with adult breast stem cells that help with development and plasticity. This links the concept of breast stem cells to that of breast cancer stem cells and if they play a role in breast cancer.  The evidence of cancer stem cells in many different types of cancer, and in this case, breast cancer, will help with the advanced understanding and treating cancer (Charafe-Jauffret et al., 2018) (Al-Hajj et al., 2003) (Butti et al., 2019) (Morrison et al., 2008).

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