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International Journal of Breast Cancer
Volume 2012 (2012), Article ID 721659, 7 pages
Review Article

The Microenvironmental Effect in the Progression, Metastasis, and Dormancy of Breast Cancer: A Model System within Bone Marrow

Department of Medicine-Hematology/Oncology, New Jersey Medical School, University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey, 185 South Orange Avenue, Newark, NJ 07103, USA

Received 19 August 2011; Revised 12 November 2011; Accepted 15 November 2011

Academic Editor: Lalita Shevde

Copyright © 2012 Bobby Y. Reddy et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Despite diagnostic advances, breast cancer remains the most prevalent cancer among women in the United States. The armamentarium of treatment options for metastatic disease is limited and mostly ineffective with regards to eradicating cancer. However, there have been novel findings in the recent literature that substantiate the function of the microenvironment in breast cancer progression and the support of metastasis to tertiary sites such as bone marrow. The uncovered significance of the microenvironment in the pathophysiology of breast cancer metastasis has served to challenge previously widespread theories and introduce new perspectives for the future research to eradicate breast cancer. This paper delineates the current understanding of the molecular mechanisms involved in the interactions between breast cancer cells and the microenvironment in progression, metastasis, and dormancy. The information, in addition to other mechanisms described in bone marrow, is discussed in the paper.