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Chemotherapy And Biological Treatment Options In Breast Cancer Patients With Brain Metastasis: An Update

C. Arslan, O. Dizdar, K. Altundag
Published 2014 · Medicine

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Introduction: Breast cancer (BC) is the second most common cause of CNS metastasis. Ten to 20% of all, and 38% of human epidermal growth factor-2(+), metastatic BC patients experience brain metastasis (BM). Prolonged survival with better control of systemic disease and limited penetration of drugs to CNS increased the probability of CNS metastasis as a sanctuary site of relapse. Treatment of CNS disease has become an important component of overall disease control and quality of life. Areas covered: Current standard therapy for BM is whole-brain radiotherapy, surgery, stereotactic body radiation therapy for selected cases, corticosteroids and systemic chemotherapy. Little progress has been made in chemotherapy for the treatment of BM in patients with BC. Nevertheless, new treatment choices have emerged. In this review, we aimed to update current and future treatment options in systemic treatment for BM of BC. Expert opinion: Cornerstone local treatment options for BM of BC are radiotherapy and surgery in selected cases. Efficacy of cytotoxic chemotherapeutics is limited. Among targeted therapies, lapatinib has activity in systemic treatment of BM particularly when used in combination with capecitabine. Novel agents are currently investigated.
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