A groundbreaking study by NUS Medicine challenges cancer beliefs, revealing altruistic behavior in certain breast cancer cells.

Contrary to the belief that cancer cells act in self-interest, some breast cancer cells sacrifice themselves, aiding the survival and resistance of others during chemotherapy.

This unexpected cellular altruism, observed in the tumor microenvironment, provides a new perspective on breast cancer dynamics.

Breast cancer, with over 1,000 new cases yearly in Singapore, faces a unique challenge as the most prevalent cancer among women.

Despite medical advances, breast cancer relapse rates remain high at 7-11% within five years, emphasizing the need for innovative treatments.

The study's findings, published in Molecular Cancer in December 2023, could lead to a significant decrease in breast cancer relapse rates.

Targeting these altruistic cells emerges as a promising strategy for breast cancer treatment, according to the study.

The research underscores the importance of considering the social behaviors of cancer cells for future advancements in breast cancer treatments.