Exploiting Mouse Models to Recapitulate Clinical Tumor Dormancy and Recurrence in Breast Cancer

Endocrinology. 2022 Jun 1;163(6):bqac055. doi: 10.1210/endocr/bqac055.


Breast cancer recurrence and metastasis from activated dormant tumors remain the leading causes in disease morbidity. Women with estrogen receptor-positive breast cancer that accounts for nearly 80% of all cases face a lifelong risk of relapse after initial treatment. The biology of dormant tumors and dormant cancer cells that give rise to recurrent disease and metastasis remain to be understood for us to overcome the clinical challenges that they bring. The selection and optimization of preclinical models to recapitulate dormancy and recurrence in patients is critical for studying the underlying cellular and environmental factors. Here, we provide a brief review of studies that utilize mouse models to dissect the mechanisms of dormancy and therapeutic strategies to avert recurrence. This review specifically accentuates the versatility and benefits of immunocompetent transgenic mouse models that can be manipulated to recapitulate primary dormancy, metastatic dormancy, and post-therapy dormancy.

Keywords: breast cancer; recurrence; transgenic mouse model; tumor dormancy.

Publication types

  • Review
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Breast Neoplasms* / drug therapy
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Mice
  • Mice, Transgenic
  • Neoplasm Metastasis
  • Neoplasm Recurrence, Local

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