Breast Cancer Stem Cell Research
Why are women still dying of breast cancer? Advances in mammography and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) screening for breast cancer have made it possible for doctors to see breast tumors when they are very small. When physicians can diagnose and treat breast cancer early, they often can remove the tumor with surgery and prevent a recurrence.
To cure metastatic breast cancer, U-M scientists believe you must eliminate the cancer stem cells. Chemotherapy and radiation alone cannot do that.
Some breast tumors have more stem cells than others. Is that significant?Research has shown that breast tumors with a higher percentage of cancer stem cells are more aggressive and more likely to spread. Women with these tumors have a higher risk of dying from cancer. So knowing the percentage of stem cells in a breast tumor could help determine which patients need more aggressive treatment.