Purpose of the Review: Breast cancer research has long focused on breast epithelium in cancer development. This traditional view is being challenged by more recent work which suggests that stromal components such as fibroblasts, immune cells, endothelial cells, and others may play a central role in cancer development. The purpose of this review is to investigate the elements of the breast stroma and their interaction with the epithelium in creating the necessary pro-tumorigenic environment. Recent Findings: Several studies have revealed that breast cancer stroma differs significantly from normal breast stroma, with altered cellular and molecular factors that may serve as potential therapeutic targets in breast cancer treatment. Summary: Studies of the complex interactions within the cancer ecosystem have revealed tumor-associated stromal changes that promote cell growth and invasiveness. They also reveal specific targets for novel strategies to inhibit inflammation, immunosuppression, angiogenesis, and distant invasion.
- Breast cancer
- Breast cancer treatment
- Cancer-associated fibroblasts
- Epithelial–stromal interactions
- Extracellular matrix
- Tumor-associated stroma
ASJC Scopus subject areas