Figure 1. Clinical course of cancer therapy: Focus on the causes of treatment failure. After diagnosis, breast cancer patients undergo surgical resection of the primary tumor and then are treated with a specific therapy (hormone/chemo/radio), depending on the breast cancer subtype and clinical staging. However, a significant number of patients ultimately undergo treatment failure, resulting in tumor recurrence and distant metastasis. Distant metastasis is responsible for the premature deaths of >90% of cancer patients, undergoing treatment failure. This phenomenon has been attributed to the propagation and dissemination of CSCs.