Journal of Mammary Gland Biology and Neoplasia

, Volume 6, Issue 4, pp 441–451

Genetic Basis of Human Breast Cancer Metastasis


DOI: 10.1023/A:1014739131690

Cite this article as:
Debies, M.T. & Welch, D.R. J Mammary Gland Biol Neoplasia (2001) 6: 441. doi:10.1023/A:1014739131690


Once cancer cells have spread and formed secondary masses, breast cancers are largely incurable even with state-of-the-art medicine. To improve diagnosis and therapy, better markers are needed to distinguish cells which have a high probability for causing clinically relevant, macroscopic metastases. In this review, we summarize the several genes that regulate breast cancer metastasis. Two categories of genes are presented—metastasis activator (ras, MEK1, mta1, proteinases, adhesion molecules, chemoattractants/receptors, autotaxin, PKC, S100A4, RhoC, osteopontin) and metastasis suppressor (Nm23, E-cadherin, TIMPs, KiSS1, Kai1, Maspin, MKK4, BRMS1). While the mechanisms of action for most of these genes are not fully elucidated, some clues are emerging and are presented.

Copyright information

© Plenum Publishing Corporation 2001

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Jake Gittlen Cancer Research Institute, College of MedicinePenn State UniversityHershey