Tumour biology of a breast cancer at least partly reflects the biology of the tissue/epithelial cell of origin at the time of initiation - a hypothesis

J Steroid Biochem Mol Biol. 2000 Nov 30;74(5):345-50. doi: 10.1016/s0960-0760(00)00111-4.


A hypothesis is presented suggesting that initiation of breast epithelial cell freezes the cell at least partly according to the development/differention of cell at the time of initiation. Tumour biology will mimic the physiology of normal cell development at the time of initiation and this is preserved at least partly onwards. Also preferentially, tumours will develop from the cell type that is proliferating at the time of initiation. This may explain the overrepresentation of different types of histology in breast cancer in relation to age of the woman. The development of each tumour may follow at least partly a distinct pathway of evolution.

MeSH terms

  • Age Factors
  • Age of Onset
  • BRCA2 Protein
  • Breast / cytology
  • Breast / metabolism
  • Breast / pathology
  • Breast Neoplasms / diagnosis
  • Breast Neoplasms / etiology
  • Breast Neoplasms / metabolism
  • Breast Neoplasms / pathology*
  • Cell Differentiation
  • Epithelial Cells / cytology
  • Epithelial Cells / metabolism
  • Epithelial Cells / pathology*
  • Female
  • Genes, BRCA1 / genetics
  • Genetic Predisposition to Disease / genetics
  • Humans
  • Models, Biological*
  • Neoplasm Proteins / genetics
  • Prognosis
  • Risk Factors
  • Transcription Factors / genetics


  • BRCA2 Protein
  • Neoplasm Proteins
  • Transcription Factors