The complexities of breast cancer desmoplasia

Breast Cancer Res. 2001;3(3):143-5. doi: 10.1186/bcr287. Epub 2001 Feb 1.


The stromal, or 'desmoplastic', responses seen histologically in primary breast carcinomas can vary from being predominantly cellular (fibroblasts/myofibroblasts) with little collagen to being a dense acellular tissue. The mechanisms underlying the stromal response are complex; paracrine activation of myofibroblasts by growth factors is important but the contribution of cytokines/chemokines should not be ignored. A recent xenograft study has proposed that platelet-derived growth factor (PDGF) is the initiator of the desmoplastic response, but this has not been confirmed by (limited) analyses in vivo. Further studies are required to elaborate the mechanisms of the desmoplastic response, to determine its role in breast cancer progression and whether it is the same for all carcinomas.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Breast Neoplasms / metabolism
  • Breast Neoplasms / pathology*
  • Cricetinae
  • Female
  • Fibroblasts / metabolism
  • Humans
  • Platelet-Derived Growth Factor / metabolism
  • Stromal Cells / metabolism


  • Platelet-Derived Growth Factor