The Origin of Estrogen Receptor α-Positive and α-Negative Breast Cancer

  • Robert B. Clarke
  • Andrew H. Sims
  • Anthony Howell
Part of the Advances in Experimental Medicine and Biology book series (AEMB, volume 617)

Recent advances in global gene expression analyses have led to a classification of breast tumours based on their intrinsic molecular signature rather than histological appearance, or presence/absence of one particular molecular marker. In a series of seminal papers, Perou and Sorlie working in Botstein’s laboratory in Stanford delineated four basic molecular sub-types of breast cancer (BC) that have been generally confirmed and corroborated by subsequent studies (1–5). The four major sub-types, termed basal, HER2 and luminal types A and B, have been demonstrated to engender different prognostic outcomes (6). This is partly explained by their heterogeneous expression of the ERα, with absent or low levels in the first two sub-types and moderate or strong expression in the latter two sub-types. In this chapter, we review what is known about normal breast epithelial stem and progenitor cells, expression of ERα and how this informs us about the likely cellular origins of these cancer sub-types and their ERα status.


Stem Cell Breast Cancer Mammary Gland Cancer Stem Cell Side Population 
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.


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Copyright information

© Springer 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  • Robert B. Clarke
    • 1
  • Andrew H. Sims
  • Anthony Howell
    • 2
  1. 1.Breast Biology Group Division of Cancer StudiesUniversity of Manchester Christie Hospital (NHS) TrustManchester
  2. 2.CRC Department Medical OncologyUniversity of Manchester Christie Hospital and Holt Radium Inst.ManchesterUK

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