Endocrine therapy of metastatic breast cancer
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Breast cancer growth and dissemination is regulated by estrogen and different growth factor receptor signalling pathways. The increasing knowledge of the biology of breast cancer regarding the interaction of these signalling pathways provides a tool to understand endocrine therapies response and resistance mechanisms. In patients with slowly progressive disease, no visceral involvement, and minimal symptoms, endocrine therapy could be the strategy of choice, even if the tumor has low estrogen receptor expression. Ovarian suppression and tamoxifen are recommended for premenopausal patients whether aromatase inhibitors are the option for postmenopausal ones. Chemotherapy still remains as the right alternative for hormone unresponsive or resistant patients. This is a review focused on the different strategies and combinations of endocrine therapies for metastatic breast cancer patients considering the potential strategies clinically tested to overcome resistance and the different treatments of choice available for each scenario of disseminated disease.
KeywordsMetastatic breast cancer Endocrine therapy Hormonal receptors HER 2
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