Macrophages in Breast Cancer: Do Involution Macrophages Account for the Poor Prognosis of Pregnancy-Associated Breast Cancer?

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Macrophage influx is associated with negative outcomes for women with breast cancer and has been demonstrated to be required for metastasis of mammary tumors in mouse models. Pregnancy-associated breast cancer is characterized by particularly poor outcomes, however the reasons remain obscure. Recently, post-pregnancy mammary involution has been characterized as having a wound healing signature. We have proposed the involution-hypothesis, which states that the wound healing microenvironment of the involuting gland is tumor promotional. Macrophage influx is one of the prominent features of the involuting gland, identifying the macrophage a potential instigator of tumor progression and a novel target for breast cancer treatment and prevention.

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