Tumor heterogeneity in breast cancer

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

1 Scopus citations


Traditional teachings state that monoclonality is a sine qua non of malignancy. Tumor heterogeneity at first glance flies in the face of clonal origin of tumors. However, heterogeneity represents clonal evolution and adaption to adverse environment and is a cardinal feature of all life forms including tumors. The major concern is that these adaptations could interfere with therapies and affect patient outcomes. Variability in clinical presentation, tumor histology, response to treatment and outcomes have been long recognized by clinicians and pathologists. In this review, we revisit this old friend (or, perhaps more correctly, a foe) and document that heterogeneity that exists at all, clinical, histological and molecular, levels and briefly outline the strategies that have been used by clinicians and pathologists to tackle this complicated issue.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationMolecular Pathology of Breast Cancer
PublisherSpringer International Publishing
Number of pages12
ISBN (Electronic)9783319417615
ISBN (Print)9783319417592
StatePublished - Jan 1 2016


  • Breast cancer
  • Tumor heterogeneity

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)

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