Does inflammation contribute to Pregnancy Associated Breast Cancer?

Darwin College Sciences Group
Dr Jessica Hitchcock, Department of Pathology, University of Cambridge
The Richard King Room, Darwin College
Thursday, February 22, 2018 - 13:10 to 14:00

The fundamental role of the mammary gland is to produce milk to feed young. Considering this is only required for a certain length of time, the mammary gland must undergo substantial preparatory remodelling during pregnancy, and, similarly, the architecture of the gland must be restored to its pre-pregnant state when milk production is no longer required. This post-lactation regression of the mammary gland (Involution) has a distinct inflammatory signature, whereby immune cells are recruited to the gland to assist with the remodelling process. I am an immunologist and I am interested in how this post-pregnancy inflammation of the mammary gland can be tumourigenic. I am particularly interested in how this process is exacerbated in older first-time mothers, as this may be of great importance in today’s society, where starting a family is often delayed.

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