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Breast cancer and cancer stem cells: a mini-review

Abstract

Breast cancer is the most common type of malignant disease in women worldwide. In developing countries the past few years have sustained an increasing incidence of this type of cancer. Currently, breast cancer is the second leading cause of death due to cancer in women. In 2008 alone it was diagnosed in more than 1 million patients and each year the number of breast cancer-related deaths is estimated to be ~450,000. The mortality rate in breast cancer patients has been decreasing over the years thanks to the development of early diagnostic methods and more effective treatments. But despite the new advances in cancer diagnosis and treatment, the risk of recurrence and metastasis is ever present. It has been theorized that cancer stem cells are involved in the process of tumor growth and metastases. Due to their self-renewing and differentiation capabilities, they are now considered the underlying factor in tumor recurrence and the main reason for therapy resistance. Therefore, the characterization of cancer stem cells may contribute to the development of more effective treatment strategies that should make it possible to eliminate cancer stem cells in order to prevent tumor relapse and metastasis in diagnosed patients.

Tumori 2014; 100(4): 363 - 369

Article Type: REVIEW

DOI:10.1700/1636.17886

Authors

Alzbeta Filipova, Martina Seifrtova, Jaroslav Mokry, Josef Dvorak, Martina Rezacova, Stanislav Filip, Daniel Diaz-Garcia

Article History

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Authors

  • Filipova, Alzbeta [PubMed] [Google Scholar]
    Department of Medical Biochemistry, Charles University in Prague, Faculty of Medicine, Hradec Králové, Czech Republic
  • Seifrtova, Martina [PubMed] [Google Scholar]
    Department of Medical Biochemistry, Charles University in Prague, Faculty of Medicine, Hradec Králové, Czech Republic
  • Mokry, Jaroslav [PubMed] [Google Scholar]
    Department of Histology and Embryology, Charles University in Prague, Faculty of Medicine, Hradec Králové, Czech Republic
  • Dvorak, Josef [PubMed] [Google Scholar]
    Department of Oncology and Radiotherapy, Charles University in Prague, Faculty of Medicine and Teaching Hospital, Hradec Králové, Czech Republic
  • Rezacova, Martina [PubMed] [Google Scholar]
    Department of Medical Biochemistry, Charles University in Prague, Faculty of Medicine, Hradec Králové, Czech Republic
  • Filip, Stanislav [PubMed] [Google Scholar]
    Department of Oncology and Radiotherapy, Charles University in Prague, Faculty of Medicine and Teaching Hospital, Hradec Králové, Czech Republic
  • Diaz-Garcia, Daniel [PubMed] [Google Scholar]

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