Targeting breast cancer initiating cells: Advances in breast cancer research and therapy

James A. McCubrey, Nicole M. Davis, Stephen L. Abrams, Giuseppe Montalto, Melchiorre Cervello, Massimo Libra, Ferdinando Nicoletti, Antonino B. D'Assoro, Lucio Cocco, Alberto M. Martelli, Linda S. Steelman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

26 Scopus citations


Over the past 10 years there have been significant advances in our understanding of breast cancer and the important roles that breast cancer initiating cells (CICs) play in the development and resistance of breast cancer. Breast CICs endowed with self-renewing and tumor-initiating capacities are believed to be responsible for the relapses which often occur after various breast cancer therapies. In this review, we will summarize some of the key developments in breast CICs which will include discussion of some of the key genes implicated: estrogen receptor (. ER), HER2, BRCA1, TP53, PIK3CA, RB, P16INK1 and various miRs as well some drugs which are showing promise in targeting CICs. In addition, the concept of combined therapies will be discussed. Basic and clinical research is resulting in novel approaches to improve breast cancer therapy by targeting the breast CICs.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)81-107
Number of pages27
JournalAdvances in Biological Regulation
StatePublished - Sep 2014


  • Cancer stem cells
  • ER
  • HER2
  • Hormonal therapy
  • MiRs
  • Targeted therapy
  • Therapy resistance

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Medicine
  • Molecular Biology
  • Genetics
  • Cancer Research


Dive into the research topics of 'Targeting breast cancer initiating cells: Advances in breast cancer research and therapy'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this