The mammary myoepithelial cell--Cinderella or ugly sister?

Breast Cancer Res. 2001;3(1):1-4. doi: 10.1186/bcr260. Epub 2000 Nov 2.


The breast myoepithelial cell is the Cinderella of mammary biology. Although its contribution to benign and some malignant pathologies is recognised, it has been largely neglected in molecular and biological studies. The reason for this has been the perception that its role in normal physiology is confined to lactation and the belief that most breast cancers arise from luminal epithelial cells. This review presents our perspective on its broader biological significance and its potential use as a model system for understanding breast carcinogenesis.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Breast Neoplasms / classification
  • Breast Neoplasms / diagnosis
  • Breast Neoplasms / pathology*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Myoepithelioma / pathology*