Myoepithelial cells lining milk ducts hold key to spread of DCIS

May 1, 2008

Researchers at Dana-Farber have found that normal myoepithelial cells, which form part of the lining of the milk ducts, suppress fibroblasts that promote tumor growth and invasion, but when certain genes in the myoepithelial layer become under- or overactive, the layer breaks down and disappears, enabling tumor cells to spread.

Researchers at Dana-Farber have found that normal myoepithelial cells, which form part of the lining of the milk ducts, suppress fibroblasts that promote tumor growth and invasion, but when certain genes in the myoepithelial layer become under- or overactive, the layer breaks down and disappears, enabling tumor cells to spread. The abnormal genes include TGF Beta, Hedgehog, and p63. The study was reported in the May 6 issue of Cancer Cell.