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Australian researchers find stem cell breast cancer connection


Australian researchers have discovered stem cells in the breast that may be linked to a high-risk form of breast cancer.

Researchers at Melbourne’s Walter and Eliza Hall Institute have been able to reveal a long-lived type of stem cell in the breast that is responsible for the growth of the mammary glands during pregnancy

The newly-found stem cells have many molecular similarities to a subtype of ‘triple negative’ breast cancers known as claudin-low cancers.

About 15 per cent of breast cancers are triple negative, which are aggressive with a high chance of recurrence and ultimately a poor prognosis.

Researchers hope that the discovery can be used to understand how cancers may arise from long-lived stem cells, and potentially lead to better outcomes for patients.