Introduction to breast cancer
· lobules (milk-producing glands)
· ducts (milk passages that connect the lobules to the nipple), and
· stroma (fatty tissue and connective tissue surrounding the ducts and lobules, blood vessels and lymphatic vessels).
Most breast cancers begin in the ducts (ductal), some in the lobules (lobular), and the rest in other remaining tissues.
History of HER2
In the 1970s, researchers began using the new tools of molecular biology to find the genes that trigger various cancers. One scientist discovered a gene, called HER2/neu, or HER2, that directed the production of a protein that seemed to cause cancer in mice.
HER2 is a protein found on the surface of breast cells. This protein helps to regulate the cell growth. However, when the HER2 protein is altered, extra HER2 protein may be produced. This causes the growth of the cells to increase which often results in more aggressive breast cancer cells being produced.
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