Emerging role of brain metastases in the prognosis of breast cancer patients
Amanda Hambrecht1,2, Rahul Jandial2, Josh Neman2
1Department of Biology, University of Southern California; 2Department of Neurosurgery, Beckman Research Institute, City of Hope National Cancer Center, CA, USA
Abstract: Cancer starts with one rogue cell. Through mutations and genomic alterations, the cell acquires specific and stem cell-like characteristics necessary for invasion of a distant organ and ultimately metastasis. Metastatic brain cancer is a particularly formidable disease because of its poor prognosis and the highly resistant nature of the tumor to chemotherapy. Although several types of primary tumors have a tendency to metastasize to the brain, the incidence of brain metastases has increased dramatically in some subsets of breast cancer patients. Several conventional treatments are available, but success is limited and often short-lived. Given that no standard treatment options exist, there is a significant need to investigate the biology of these clinically recalcitrant tumors.
Keywords: metastasis, breast cancer, blood-brain barrier, epithelial-mesenchymal transition, mesenchymal-epithelial transition
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