, Volume 123, Issue 1 Supplement, pp 49-52
Date: 14 Aug 2010

Therapeutic approaches in young women with advanced or metastatic breast cancer

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Introduction

Advanced breast cancer is a chronic disease with a remarkably heterogeneous clinical picture and a mean survival of 2–4 years [1]. Treatment goals are to increase overall survival and disease-free survival, and improve quality of life [2]. The inclusion of novel-targeted therapies in recent years has brought renewed hope for the possibility of improving these goals, and has broadened the spectrum of therapeutic choices.

Prognostic and predictive factors for early disease differ from those of advanced disease. In spite of this, many therapeutic decisions in young women with advanced breast cancer are based on predictive characteristics of early breast cancer. There is evidence demonstrating that approximately 20% of metastatic or relapsed tumors undergo changes in the expression of either hormone receptors or human epidermal growth factor receptor-2 (HER-2)/neu in comparison to the primary tumor [3]. Although methodological reasons might be behind some of the discordances in