Breast Cancer

, 2:9 | Cite as

Breast cancer: A revolutionary concept

  • Michael Baum
  • Anthony Colletta
Review Article


In this paper we trace the evolution of paradigms concerning the nature of breast cancer and their therapeutic consequences. There is no doubt that the conceptual revolution of about 20 years ago has led to modest gains in survival following the use of adjuvant systemic therapy and the quality of survival by demonstrating the safety of conservative surgical regimens. At the same time, there seems to be a plateau in progress. The results of adjuvant systemic therapy are not as good as anticipated and there are a number of other inconsistencies within the conventional model of biological predeterminism that remain to be explained. We offer up an alternative paradigm that suggests that not all metastases are due to cellular dissemination with late onset local and distant recurrence resulting from a transfection phenomenon, whereby subcellular particles shed by the primary cancer cell are taken up by wandering cells of the monocyte macrophage system and transported to distant sites where the local mesenchymal cells are transfected with the genetic information that activates components of the genome to instruct these plastic cells to express the phenotypic picture of a dedifferentiated breast duct epithelial cell. Such a conceptual revolution will open up the way for a new program of research and the development of therapies based on anti-viral rather than cytotoxic drugs.


Breast Cancer Early Breast Cancer Mouse Mammary Tumor Virus Adjuvant Systemic Therapy Long Terminal Repeat Sequence 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.



Colony stimulating factor


Human homologue of the MMTV


Long terminal repeat sequences


Mouse mammary tumor virus


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Copyright information

© The Japanese Breast Cancer Society 1995

Authors and Affiliations

  • Michael Baum
    • 1
  • Anthony Colletta
    • 2
  1. 1.Surgery, The Royal Marsden HospitalLondon
  2. 2.Hartwell Laboratories, Institute of Cancer ResearchThe Royal Marsden HospitalUK

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