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The Role of Notch in Breast Cancer

  • Jeffrey C. Bloodworth
  • Clodia Osipo
Chapter

Abstract

Women have a one in eight lifetime risk of being diagnosed with breast cancer. Breast cancer is the second leading cause of cancer-related mortality in women worldwide. Notch signaling is critical for proper mammary development and homeostasis. Notch is emerging as an important targetable oncogene in breast cancer. Notch signaling promotes a number of cancer phenotypes including stem cell survival, self-renewal, and differentiation. This chapter will describe research advancements and clinical implications of Notch signaling in the context of the normal mammary gland and in breast cancer. Notch is involved in cross talk with several other signaling pathways. Estrogen receptor alpha and ErbB2 are commonly overexpressed breast oncogenes. Therapies designed to target these receptors are indicated for the majority of invasive breast cancer cases. However, breast tumors are often able to overcome these therapies, and upregulation of Notch is implicated in the development of drug resistance.

Keywords

Breast cancer Notch Gamma secretase Mammary Breast cancer stem cell 

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Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Microbiology and Immunology, Oncology Research Institute, Biochemistry and Molecular Biology ProgramLoyola University ChicagoMaywoodUSA

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