Mutation Mechanisms of Human Breast Cancer

Lingling Li, Tianhai Tian, Xinan Zhang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

11 Citations (Scopus)


Cancer is a class of diseases caused by the accumulation of gene mutations. All mutated genes constitute a genetic network for cancer progression. It is very helpful for tumor diagnosis and therapy if we know how many mutated genes are needed for human breast cancer. In this article, we investigate the mutation mechanisms of human breast cancer by modeling the data of surveillance, epidemiology, and end results registry. The data are age-specific incidence rates of breast cancer of females in the United States. We set up stochastic multistage models to estimate the age-specific incidence rates by using several coupled ordinary differential equations derived from the Kolmogorov backward equations. Our results suggest that 2-14 mutations in the genome of breast stem cells are required for normal breast stem cells to become a malignant cell, and 3 gene mutations are most likely to occur in the development of female breast cancer.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)396-404
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Computational Biology
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 1 Apr 2018


  • breast cancer
  • gene mutation
  • incidence rate
  • stochastic multistage model

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