Strategies of medical treatment for metastatic breast cancer (Review).

M. Danova, C. Porta, S. Ferrari, A. Riccardi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Presently, metastatic breast cancer cannot be cured and therefore good palliation of symptoms and longer overall survival make the most important targets, always considering quality of life. In addition to the established hormonal therapies or chemotherapy regimens, several recent advances have accelerated progress in metastatic breast cancer treatment. As demonstrated in recent studies, the third-generation aromatase inhibitors are playing a significant role in the improvement of the therapeutic approach. The development of new drugs with novel mechanisms of action, such as taxanes, used alone in innovative schedules or in association with other drugs (mainly the anthracyclines), vinorelbine and gemcitabine, or capecitabine, which is administered orally, has broadened the scope of metastatic breast cancer chemotherapy. A new investigation field is represented by high-dose chemotherapy with stem cell support, which has provided controversial preliminary results but is also acknowledged to deserve larger and randomized trials. Finally, the emergence of biological therapies such as the anti-HER2 monoclonal antibody Trastuzumab opens new and exciting prospects for the treatment of this disease. Moreover, the present trend is to try to rationalize the therapeutic approach on the basis of biological parameters which are prognostic and predictive of treatment response.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)733-739
Number of pages7
JournalInternational Journal of Oncology
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2001

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cancer Research
  • Oncology


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