The protective effect of longer duration of breastfeeding against pregnancy-associated triple negative breast cancer

Wael M. ElShamy _

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Oncotarget. 2016; 7:53941-53950. https://doi.org/10.18632/oncotarget.9690

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Wael M. ElShamy1

1 Cancer Institute, University of Mississippi Medical Center, Jackson, MS, USA

Correspondence to:

Wael M. ElShamy, email:

Keywords: parity associated breast cancer, oncogene escape, triple negative breast cancer, metastasis

Received: April 09, 2016 Accepted: May 23, 2016 Published: May 29, 2016


Parity associated breast cancer (PABC) often diagnosed within the 2-5 years after a full term pregnancy. PABC is usually present with more advanced, poorly differentiated, high-grade cancers that show shorter time to progression and often of the triple negative breast cancer (TNBC) subtype. Data from around the world show that pregnancy-associated TNBC is independently associated with poor survival, underscoring the impact of the pregnant breast microenvironment on the biology and consequently the prognosis of these tumors. Although it is not yet clear, a link between pregnancy-associated TNBCs and lack or shorter duration of breastfeeding (not pregnancy per se) has been proposed. Here, we present epidemiological and experimental evidence for the protective effect of longer duration of lactation against pregnancy-associated TNBCs, and propose a putative molecular mechanism for this protective effect and its effect in eliminating any potential TNBC precursors from the breast by the end of the natural breast involution.

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