Mechanisms of breast cancer metastasis

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Clinical & experimental metastasis


Invasive breast cancer tends to metastasize to lymph nodes and systemic sites. The management of metastasis has evolved by focusing on controlling the growth of the disease in the breast/chest wall, and at metastatic sites, initially by surgery alone, then by a combination of surgery with radiation, and later by adding systemic treatments in the form of chemotherapy, hormone manipulation, targeted therapy, immunotherapy and other treatments aimed at inhibiting the proliferation of cancer cells. It would be valuable for us to know how breast cancer metastasizes; such knowledge would likely encourage the development of therapies that focus on mechanisms of metastasis and might even allow us to avoid toxic therapies that are currently used for this disease. For example, if we had a drug that targeted a gene that is critical for metastasis, we might even be able to cure a vast majority of patients with breast cancer. By bringing together scientists with expertise in molecular aspects of breast cancer metastasis, and those with expertise in the mechanical aspects of metastasis, this paper probes interesting aspects of the metastasis cascade, further enlightening us in our efforts to improve the outcome from breast cancer treatments.

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ePub ahead of print