Breaking through to the Other Side: Microenvironment Contributions to DCIS Initiation and Progression

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34 Scopus citations


Refinements in early detection, surgical and radiation therapy, and hormone receptor-targeted treatments have improved the survival rates for breast cancer patients. However, the ability to reliably identify which non-invasive lesions and localized tumors have the ability to progress and/or metastasize remains a major unmet need in the field. The current diagnostic and therapeutic strategies focus on intrinsic alterations within carcinoma cells that are closely associated with proliferation. However, substantial accumulating evidence has indicated that permissive changes in the stromal tissues surrounding the carcinoma play an integral role in breast cancer tumor initiation and progression. Numerous studies have suggested that the stromal environment surrounding ductal carcinoma in situ (DCIS) lesions actively contributes to enhancing tumor cell invasion and immune escape. This review will describe the current state of knowledge regarding the mechanisms through which the microenvironment interacts with DCIS lesions focusing on recent studies that describe the contributions of myoepithelial cells, fibroblasts and immune cells to invasion and subsequent progression. These mechanisms will be considered in the context of developing biomarkers for identifying lesions that will progress to invasive carcinoma and/or developing approaches for therapeutic intervention.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)207-221
Number of pages15
JournalJournal of mammary gland biology and neoplasia
Issue number4
StatePublished - Dec 1 2018

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2018, Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature.


  • DCIS
  • Ductal carcinoma in situ
  • Fibroblast
  • Immune
  • Mammary gland
  • Myoepithelial
  • Tumor microenvironment


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