Biology of the breast cell
Although basic science research in cancer is well-supported by other agencies, there remains a critical need to understand the pre-neoplastic, causative events of breast cancer at the tissue level, including the stroma. The genetic changes in disease progression and the tumor heterogeneity need clarification at the basic science level. Breast cancer stem cell research is especially encouraged. Specific topics for research in this area might include:
Biology of the normal breast: The starting point — Research should explore aspects of normal breast biology (e.g., aging) that are linked to the earliest stages of breast cancer, and which could provide insights into new approaches to prevent, detect, or treat the disease.
Pathogenesis: Understanding the disease — Research must specifically focus on breast cancer tumor and stromal biology, including:
- Studies of relevant proteins and genes with an emphasis on their relationship to the actual disease, and
- Elucidating key cell signaling, growth control, cell cycle and apoptosis pathways.
We especially encourage new research on the process of metastasis and the development of tools and models to better understand the key metastatic events that impact patient survival.