Effects of Growth Factors on Proliferation and Differentiation of Human Mammary Stem/Progenitor Cells
Foley, Jessica M.
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Cells cultured from breast reduction samples contain a small number of undifferentiated stem/progenitor cells that give rise to all three cell lineages of the mammary gland, epithelial, myoepithelial, and alveolar. Stem cells can differentiate into multi-lineage progeny and self-renew into another progenitor cell. Evidence now suggests that tumor cells arise from healthy stem cells, creating a small population of ‘cancer stem cells’. These cells have the ability to proliferate extensively and form new tumors. Current therapies target all cells within a tumor, instead of specific cancer stem cell populations. In order to create more effective therapies, comparisons must be made between nontumorigenic stem cell and cancer stem cell populations. Prior to this study, no assay existed which enriched in human mammary stem/progenitor cells (SPC).