Current Breast Cancer Reports

, Volume 4, Issue 1, pp 48–55 | Cite as

Biology and Novel Targets in Metaplastic Breast Cancer

Systemic Therapy (J O’Shaughnessy, Section Editor)


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 



No conflicts of interest relevant to this article were reported.


Papers of particular interest, published recently, have been highlighted as: • Of importance

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Breast Medical Oncology, Unit 1354University of Texas M. D. Anderson Cancer CenterHoustonUSA
  2. 2.Department of Phase I ProgramUniversity of Texas M. D. Anderson Cancer CenterHoustonUSA
  3. 3.HoustonUSA

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