Breast Cancer

  • Ben DavidsonEmail author
  • Fernando Schmitt


Breast carcinoma can metastasize to the serosal cavities at any point of time in the course of the disease, in some cases 20 or 30 years after diagnosis of the primary tumor. Irrespective of the time point, metastasis to this anatomic site is in the majority of cases rapidly fatal. Breast carcinoma most frequently involves the pleural cavity, but dissemination to the pericardial and peritoneal cavities may occur, the latter site particularly favored by lobular carcinoma. Studies analyzing the molecular features of breast carcinoma cells in effusions and their clinical and therapeutic relevance are considerably fewer than those of other carcinomas affecting the serosal cavities, such as ovarian and lung primaries. Some knowledge has nevertheless been gained regarding this disease in recent years. This chapter discusses our current understanding of the biological characteristics of breast carcinoma cells in serous effusions and their potential clinical relevance.


Tumor progression Growth factors Adhesion Immune response Intracellular signaling High-throughput analyses 


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of PathologyThe Norwegian Radium Hospital, Oslo University HospitalOsloNorway
  2. 2.Faculty of MedicineInstitute of Clinical Medicine, University of OsloOsloNorway
  3. 3.Molecular Pathology Unit, Department of Pathology and Oncology, Medical Faculty of Porto UniversityInstitute of Pathology and Molecular Immunology of Porto University, IPATIMUPPortoPortugal

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