Deconstructing the molecular portrait of basal-like breast cancer

Fruma Yehiely*, Jose V. Moyano, Joseph R. Evans, Torsten O. Nielsen, Vincent L. Cryns

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

119 Scopus citations


Gene-expression profiling has revealed several molecular subtypes of breast cancer, which differ in their pathobiology and clinical outcomes. Basal-like tumors are a newly recognized subtype of breast cancer, which express genes that are characteristic of basal epithelial cells, such as the basal cytokeratins, and are associated with poor relapse-free and overall survival. However, the genetic and epigenetic alterations that are responsible for the biologically aggressive phenotype of these estrogen receptor-negative and HER2/ErbB2-negative tumors are not well understood, thereby hindering efforts to develop targeted therapies. Here, we focus on new insights into the molecular pathogenesis of basal-like breast cancer and explore how these discoveries might impact the treatment of these poor-prognosis tumors.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)537-544
Number of pages8
JournalTrends in Molecular Medicine
Issue number11
StatePublished - Nov 2006

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Medicine
  • Molecular Biology


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