Pathology Meets Biology: the New Era of Breast Cancer Staging

  • Agnieszka DombrowskaEmail author
Local-Regional Evaluation and Therapy (DM Euhus, Section Editor)
Part of the following topical collections:
  1. Topical Collection on Local-Regional Evaluation and Therapy


Purpose of Review

Breast cancer is now recognized to be a very heterogeneous disease. This complexity was recently reflected in the newest American Joint Committee on Cancer (AJCC) breast cancer staging, implemented in 2018. Although it seems very daunting, the new staging is based on both the anatomical extent of the disease and the prognostic factors such as hormonal and HER2 status, grade of the tumor, and genomic assays providing information regarding risk of recurrence. The purpose of this review is to illustrate the reasoning for the change in previous, solely an anatomically based breast cancer staging system and to report the updates.

Recent Findings

The research showed that evaluation of breast cancer through immunohistochemistry and utility of genomic assays provides substantial prognostic information.


The combination of anatomic and prognostic factors has a tremendous impact on outcome predictive abilities of the staging system for each affected individual.


Breast cancer staging Biomarkers Intrinsic subtypes Genomic assays Prognostic factors 


Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of Interest

The author declares that there are no conflicts of interest.

Human and Animal Rights and Informed Consent

This article does not contain any studies with human or animal subjects performed by the author.


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

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Breast Surgery DepartmentJohns Hopkins HospitalBaltimoreUSA

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