Therapeutic Options for Metastatic Breast Cancer

  • Manpreet Sambi
  • Bessi Qorri
  • William Harless
  • Myron R. SzewczukEmail author
Part of the Advances in Experimental Medicine and Biology book series (AEMB, volume 1152)


Metastatic breast cancer is the most common cancer in women after skin cancer, with a 5-year survival rate of 26%. Due to its high prevalence, it is important to develop therapies that go beyond those that just provide palliation of symptoms. Currently, there are several types of therapies available to help treat breast cancer including: hormone therapy, immunotherapy, and chemotherapy, with each one depending on both the location of metastases and morphological characteristics. Although technological and scientific advancements continue to pave the way for improved therapies that adopt a targeted and personalized approach, the fact remains that the outcomes of current first-line therapies have not significantly improved over the last decade. In this chapter, we review the current understanding of the pathology of metastatic breast cancer before thoroughly discussing local and systemic therapies that are administered to patients diagnosed with metastatic breast cancer. In addition, our review will also elaborate on the genetic profile that is characteristic of breast cancer as well as the local tumor microenvironment that shapes and promotes tumor growth and cancer progression. Lastly, we will present promising novel therapies being developed for the treatment of this disease.


Metastatic breast cancer Targeted therapies Tumor microenvironment Nanoparticles Drug delivery systems Immunotherapy Oseltamivir phosphate 



This work was supported in part by grants to MR Szewczuk from the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC), a private sector cancer funding from the Josefowitz Family and Encyt Technologies, Inc. to MR Szewczuk.

M Sambi is a recipient of the Queen’s Graduate Award (QGA). B Qorri is a recipient of the QGA and the 2017 Terry Fox Research Institute Transdisciplinary Training Program in Cancer Research. The authors report no other conflicts of interest in this work.

Author Contributions

All authors contributed equally toward drafting and critically revising the paper and agree to be equally accountable for all aspects of the work.


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Manpreet Sambi
    • 1
  • Bessi Qorri
    • 1
  • William Harless
    • 2
  • Myron R. Szewczuk
    • 1
    Email author
  1. 1.Department of Biomedical and Molecular SciencesQueen’s UniversityKingstonCanada
  2. 2.Encyt Technologies Inc.MembertouCanada

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