It has become increasingly clear that apoptosis plays a critical role in mammary gland development and is an important facet of mammary carcinogenesis. The critical role of apoptosis in breast cancer derives from: (1) the influence of BRCA and p53 mutations that result in continued proliferation and increased genetic instability in precancerous mammary epithelial cells that would otherwise be subject to growth arrest and/or apoptotic death: (2) the apoptosis-modulating effects of many hormones and growth factors that had independently been demonstrated to influence breast cancer development and progression; and (3) the potential diagnostic value of factors such as IGF-I and Bcl-2, whose predictive value may reflect their anti-apoptotic effects. The continuing elucidation of the molecular pathways involved in apoptosis and their regulatory mechanisms will provide new avenues for improved diagnosis and treatment of breast cancer.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Geriatrics and Gerontology