Two retrospective studies recently published in the Journal of Clinical Oncology are challenge our ideas of how human breast cancers progress and metastasize. The first by Jennifer Wo and colleagues from the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute (Boston, Massachusetts, United States); the second by Leonel Hernandez-Aya and colleagues from The University of Texas, M. D. Anderson Cancer Center (Houston, Texas, United States) and the University of Miami (Florida, United States).

They challenge the idea that malignant progression and metastases are an orderly sequential process (ie, tumors grow and gradually acquire the ability to migrate and metastasize first to lymph nodes and then to distant sites).

There’s also an accompanying editorial by Elizabeth Comen and Larry Norton (Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, New York, United States) which discusses the implications of these studies.

J Clin Oncol. 2011;29(19):2619-2627.

J Clin Oncol. 2011;29(19):2628-2634.

J Clin Oncol. 2011;29(19):2610-2612 (Editorial).

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About bmitzi

Medical writer, author, artist. Cancer campaigner. Aiming always to improve health services and bring compassion into health care.
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