Article Text

Download PDFPDF
The significance of the senescence pathway in breast cancer progression
  1. Rahmawati Pare1,2,
  2. Tao Yang1–3,
  3. Joo-Shik Shin1,2,
  4. Cheok Soon Lee1–6
  1. 1Discipline of Pathology, School of Medicine, University of Western Sydney, Liverpool, New South Wales, Australia
  2. 2Cancer Pathology and Cell Biology Laboratory, Ingham Institute for Applied Medical Research, Liverpool, New South Wales, Australia
  3. 3Department of Anatomical Pathology, Sydney South West Pathology Service, Liverpool Hospital, Liverpool, New South Wales, Australia
  4. 4Department of Tissue Pathology and Diagnostic Oncology, Royal Prince Alfred Hospital, Camperdown, New South Wales, Australia
  5. 5Cancer Pathology, Bosch Institute, University of Sydney, Sydney, New South Wales, Australia
  6. 6South West Sydney Clinical School, University of New South Wales, Liverpool, New South Wales, Australia
  1. Correspondence to Professor Cheok Soon Lee, Department of Anatomical Pathology, Sydney South West Area Pathology Service, Liverpool Hospital, Locked Mail Bag 7090, Liverpool BC, NSW 1871, Australia; soon.lee{at}


Invasive breast cancer develops through prolonged accumulation of multiple genetic changes. The progression to a malignant phenotype requires overriding of growth inhibition. It is evident that some breast cancers have an inherited basis, and both hereditary and sporadic cancers appear to involve molecular mechanisms that are linked to the cell cycle. Frequently, changes in the molecular pathways with gene deletions, point mutations and/or overexpression of growth factors can be seen in these cancers. Recent evidence also implicates the senescence pathway in breast carcinogenesis. It has a barrier effect towards excessive cellular growth, acting as the regulator of tumour initiation and progression. Later in carcinogenesis, acquisition of the senescence associated secretory phenotype may instead promote tumour progression by stimulating growth and transformation in adjacent cells. This two-edge role of senescence in cancer directs more investigations into the effects of the senescence pathway in the development of malignancy. This review presents the current evidence on the roles of senescence molecular pathways in breast cancer and its progression.


Statistics from

Request Permissions

If you wish to reuse any or all of this article please use the link below which will take you to the Copyright Clearance Center’s RightsLink service. You will be able to get a quick price and instant permission to reuse the content in many different ways.