The key in treating any kind of cancer is not only to shut a tumor down via chemo, radiation or surgery, but also to keep the tumor cells from breaking off and spreading, a process called metastasis, to other parts of the body. Once cancer is on the move, it's even more difficult to treat. New genetic research into breast cancer tumors shows that the cells that break off from the original site in the breast, travel in groups and thus are harder to kill.
The study, done in a mouse model, demonstrated that tumors that showed up in other parts of the mice who had been altered to develop breast cancer, had originated in the original cancer tumor. This information could be the way forward in developing precision treatments for breast cancer. More research will have to be done to see if the cells behave the same way in human patients, but knowing how the circulating tumor cells are grouped together is a significant first step in fighting the progression of disease