Breast cancer stem cells are believed to be resistant to the current therapies used to treat the disease, but a new research may have found a way to disrupt these cells from multiplying.
A new study published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences found that these breast cancer stem cells are stimulated by estrogen via a pathway that mimics how normal stem cells develop, according to Newswise.com
. By blocking this pathway, researchers were able to prevent the breast cancer stem cells from metastasizing.
"By disrupting the interaction between cancer cell populations we were able to prevent tumor growth," Charlotte Kuperwasser, an associate professor at Tufts University School of Medicine, said in a statement.
Researchers used mice because they most closely mimic the way the human body reacts to cancerous breast tissue. They have found their results to be very promising and hope that this leads to further studies regarding breast cancer stem cells.
The lifetime risk of a woman developing breast cancer is one in eight, according to the American Cancer Society.