Microenvironment of the Involuting Mammary Gland Mediates Mammary Cancer Progression

J Mammary Gland Biol Neoplasia. 2007 Mar;12(1):71-82. doi: 10.1007/s10911-007-9039-3.

Abstract

Breast cancer diagnosed after a completed pregnancy has higher metastatic potential and therefore a much poorer prognosis. We hypothesize that following pregnancy the process of mammary gland involution, which returns the gland to its pre-pregnant state, co-opts some of the programs of wound healing. The pro-inflammatory milieu that results, while physiologically normal, promotes tumor progression. In this review, the similarities between mammary gland involution after cessation of milk-production and pathological tissue remodeling are discussed in light of emerging data demonstrating a role for pathological tissue remodeling in cancer.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Breast Neoplasms / pathology*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Lactation*
  • Mammary Glands, Human / pathology*