Breast cancer

Nadia Harbeck, Michael Gnant
Lancet 2017 March 18, 389 (10074): 1134-1150
Breast cancer is one of the three most common cancers worldwide. Early breast cancer is considered potentially curable. Therapy has progressed substantially over the past years with a reduction in therapy intensity, both for locoregional and systemic therapy; avoiding overtreatment but also undertreatment has become a major focus. Therapy concepts follow a curative intent and need to be decided in a multidisciplinary setting, taking molecular subtype and locoregional tumour load into account. Primary conventional surgery is not the optimal choice for all patients any more. In triple-negative and HER2-positive early breast cancer, neoadjuvant therapy has become a commonly used option. Depending on clinical tumour subtype, therapeutic backbones include endocrine therapy, anti-HER2 targeting, and chemotherapy. In metastatic breast cancer, therapy goals are prolongation of survival and maintaining quality of life. Advances in endocrine therapies and combinations, as well as targeting of HER2, and the promise of newer targeted therapies make the prospect of long-term disease control in metastatic breast cancer an increasing reality.


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