This article explores new ideas about how the ECM-integrin axis controls normal and malignant breast biology. We discuss the role of integrins in mammary stem cells, and how cell-matrix interactions regulate ductal and alveolar development and function. We also examine the contribution of integrins to tissue disorganisation and metastasis, and how an altered stromal and ECM tumour microenvironment affects the cancer cell niche both within primary tumours and at distant sites. Finally, we mention novel strategies for integrin-directed breast cancer treatment.
Copyright © 2013 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Ltd.. All rights reserved.