Systemic Therapy (J O’Shaughnessy, Section Editor)

Current Breast Cancer Reports

, Volume 4, Issue 1, pp 48-55

First online:

Biology and Novel Targets in Metaplastic Breast Cancer

  • S. L. Moulder-ThompsonAffiliated withDepartment of Breast Medical Oncology, Unit 1354, University of Texas M. D. Anderson Cancer CenterDepartment of Phase I Program, University of Texas M. D. Anderson Cancer Center Email author 

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Metaplastic breast cancer represents a spectrum of histologic subtypes with the common feature of divergent morphologic differentiation. Most of these subtypes are associated with chemotherapy resistance and an increased likelihood of developing distant metastatic disease, which has been associated with a poor prognosis. However, recent molecular characterization has indicated that some metaplastic cancers may respond to targeted therapy regimens currently undergoing evaluation in early phase clinical trials. In this review, the pathologic characteristics and epidemiology of metaplastic breast cancer are discussed along with novel therapeutic agents that may augment standard chemotherapy for this intriguing type of breast cancer.


Breast cancer Metaplastic Stem cell Triple-negative