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Scientists have located a cell of origin for a common type of breast cancer marking a breakthrough which could greatly improve current understanding of the killer ailment. Researchers at Tufts University School of Medicine, the Sackler School of Graduate Biomedical Sciences at Tufts, and Tufts Medical Center “propose a new model for breast cell differentiation that identifies two populations of progenitor cells, one of which appears to be the cell of origin for luminal-like breast cancer, the most common form of the disease. The study, published in the January 19 issue of Cancer Cell, identifies a possible target for breast cancer drugs. Breast cancers are generally classified in one of two categories. Luminal-like cancers, which are sensitive to hormones, are the most common form of breast cancer and tend to grow more slowly. Basal-like cancers, which are not sensitive to hormones, are more aggressive and tend to have a poorer prognosis. While scientists have predicted that these cancers might arise from different types of progenitor cells, it has been difficult to identify these cells of origin.”
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