Myoepithelial Cells: Pathology, Cell Separation and Markers of Myoepithelial Differentiation
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Until recently the myoepithelial cell has been studied relatively little in terms of its role in breast cancer. A number of malignancies showing myoepithelial differentiation have been reported in the literature, although they are still thought to be relatively rare and only limited studies are published. As a result of recent expression profiling experiments, one type of tumor with myoepithelial features, the so-called ‘basal’ breast cancer, has received a renewed interest, although it has been known to pathologists for more than two decades. These tumors, which express markers of both luminal and myoepithelial cells, are now being studied using antibodies against some new molecules that have emerged from studies of sorted normal luminal and myoepithelial cells. These immunohistochemical data, combined with genomic studies, may lead to better identification and management of patients with ‘basal’ tumors.
Key Wordscell separation myoepithelial tumors basal-like tumors basal markers
terminal duct-lobular unit
comparative genomic hybridization
smooth muscle actin
smooth muscle myosin
fluorescence-activated cell sorting
epithelial membrane antigen
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