Int J Biol Sci 2021; 17(8):2069-2079. doi:10.7150/ijbs.60631 This issue


Progress of Breast Cancer basic research in China

Xuerong Wang1#, Chao Wang2#, Jiaheng Guan3#, Baoan Chen3, Lin Xu2✉, Ceshi Chen4✉

1. Department of Pharmacology, Nanjing Medical University, Nanjing, Jiangsu 210029, China.
2. Department of Thoracic Surgery, Jiangsu Cancer Hospital, Nanjing Medical University Affiliated Cancer Hospital, Nanjing, Jiangsu 210009, China.
3. Department of Hematology and Oncology, Zhongda Hospital, School of Medicine, Southeast University, Nanjing, Jiangsu 210009, China.
4. Key Laboratory of Animal Models and Human Disease Mechanisms of the Chinese Academy of Sciences and Yunnan Province, Kunming Institute of Zoology, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Kunming, Yunnan 650223, China.
#These authors contribute equally to this work.

This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License ( See for full terms and conditions.
Wang X, Wang C, Guan J, Chen B, Xu L, Chen C. Progress of Breast Cancer basic research in China. Int J Biol Sci 2021; 17(8):2069-2079. doi:10.7150/ijbs.60631. Available from

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Graphic abstract

Breast cancer is the most commonly diagnosed and the most lethal cancer in females both in China and worldwide. Currently, the origin of cancer stem cells, the heterogeneity of cancer cells, the mechanism of cancer metastasis and drug resistance are the most important issues that need to be addressed. Chinese investigators have recently made new discoveries in basic breast cancer researches, especially regarding cancer stem cells, cancer metabolism, and microenvironments. These efforts have led to a deeper understanding of drug resistance and metastasis and have also indicated new biomarkers and therapeutic targets. These findings emphasized the importance of the cancer stem cells for targeted therapy. In this review, we summarized the latest important findings in this field in China.

Keywords: breast cancer, cancer stem cells, tumor microenvironment, metastasis, drug resistance