Breast Cancer Therapy

Journal of Cancer Clinical Trials

ISSN: 2577-0535

Open Access

Mini Review - (2022) Volume 7, Issue 9

Breast Cancer Therapy

Aparna Jayachandran*
*Correspondence: Aparna Jayachandran, Department of Molecular medicine, Gallipoli Medical Research Institute, Greenslopes Clinical School, The University of Queensland, Brisbane, Australia, Email:
Department of Molecular medicine, Gallipoli Medical Research Institute, Greenslopes Clinical School, The University of Queensland, Brisbane, Australia

Received: 02-Sep-2022, Manuscript No. jcct-22-81362; Editor assigned: 05-Sep-2022, Pre QC No. P-81362; Reviewed: 07-Sep-2022, QC No. Q-81362; Revised: 16-Sep-2022, Manuscript No. R-81362; Published: 23-Sep-2022 , DOI: 10.37421/2577-0535.2022.7.184
Citation: Jayachandran, Aparna. “Breast Cancer Therapy.” J Cancer Clin Trials 7 (2022): 184.
Copyright: © 2022 Jayachandran A. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.


Family physicians can better care for their patients throughout and after cancer treatment if they are aware of the available breast cancer treatments. According to stage, histology, and biomarkers, this article summarises standard treatments. Treatment is not necessary for lobular cancer in situ. Without further lymph node exploration or systemic therapy, invasive ductal carcinoma in situ is treated with breast-conserving surgery and radiation therapy. Breast-conserving surgery and radiation therapy are typically used to treat breast cancer in stages I and II. Radiation therapy reduces mortality and recurrence after breast-conserving surgery. For the majority of breast cancers with clinically negative axillary lymph nodes, sentinel lymph node biopsy is an option because it does not cause the arm pain and swelling that come with axillary lymph node dissection. ERBB2 (formerly HER2 or HER2/neu) overexpression, lymph node involvement, hormone receptor status, patient age, and menopausal status all have a role in the adjuvant systemic therapy decision. Chemotherapy, endocrine therapy (for cancers that express hormone receptors), and trastuzumab are typically used as systemic treatments for node-positive breast cancer (for cancer overexpressing ERBB2). Breast cancer can be treated with chemotherapy regimens that contain anthracyclines and taxanes. For breast-conserving surgery, stage III breast cancer often needs induction chemotherapy to shrink the tumour. Even though it is stage III, inflammatory breast cancer is aggressive and necessitates mastectomy rather than breast-conserving surgery, axillary lymph node dissection, and chest wall radiation. It also requires induction chemotherapy. Women with recurrent or metastatic (stage IV) breast cancer have a dismal prognosis, and treatment options must weigh the advantages of increased life expectancy and less pain against the risks of the procedure.


Breast cancer • Breast cancer therapy • Stages of breast cancer


Breast cancer ranks second in terms of cancer-related deaths among women. A diagnosis will occur in every eight women. The management of their patients throughout and after cancer therapy can be aided by family physicians' grasp of the rationale and supporting data for the ever-evolving breast cancer treatments, even though they rarely make the primary choices about these therapies. Each stage of breast cancer's five-year survival prognosis. TNM staging is typically used to determine the prognosis and treatment choices for breast cancer. Important variables include the patient's age, menopausal state, histologic grade, ERBB2 (formerly HER2 or HER2/neu) overexpression, lymphovascular spread, hormone receptor status, and histologic grade. by cancer stage and kind, typical treatment options.

Literature Review

In situ, Stage 0

An accidental microscopic detection of abnormal tissue growth in the breast lobules is known as lobular carcinoma in situ. It does not develop into invasive breast cancer but raises the risk of developing it by about 7% over time in either breast. 10 years. Despite the lack of a need for local or systemic therapy, affected women should nevertheless be closely monitored for breast cancer. Every year for mammograms, and every six months for clinical breast exams, is advised by the National Comprehensive Cancer Network. Selected oestrogen receptor modulators (SERMs), such as tamoxifen, should be discussed with patients as a means of chemoprevention. Ductal carcinoma in situ (DCIS), on the other hand, can advance to invasive breast cancer. Radiation therapy followed by breast conserving surgery is the normal course of treatment for DCIS; nevertheless, severe or multifocal disease may call for mastectomy. Due to the rarity of nodal metastases, pathologic lymph node assessment is typically not undertaken [1]. Endocrine therapy with tamoxifen in women with DCIS is supported by inconsistent evidence. Tamoxifen shouldn't be taken regularly by women with DCIS due to its dangers and the low probability of the condition returning.

Stages I and II: invasive early surgery

The usual treatment for early-stage invasive breast cancers has always been a modified radical mastectomy. Breast-conserving surgery, however, has gained greater popularity recently. With this therapy, the patient receives a breast that is more aesthetically pleasing than the result of a radical mastectomy while the tumour is removed without removing excessive good breast tissue. Following breast-conserving surgery, radiation therapy reduces local recurrence and increases the likelihood of cancer-specific survival to similar to those following mastectomy. Women with early-stage breast cancer had the highest success rates with breast conserving surgery, but it is not advised for those who are at high risk of local recurrence. Eligibility requirements for breastconserving surgery. Due to radiation therapy limitations or personal desire, women with early-stage breast cancer may decide to have a mastectomy [2].

Regional lymph node evaluation

Radiation therapy and adjuvant systemic therapy are necessary depending on the condition of the axillary lymph nodes (ALNs). Up until the 1990s, ALN dissection during surgery was the standard of care, but it frequently led to discomfort, numbness, oedema, and limited mobility in the affected arm. A negative sentinel lymph node (SLN) biopsy performed during surgery eliminates the necessity for ALN dissection in patients with clinically negative nodes. Comparing SLN biopsy to ALN dissection, SLN biopsy lessens arm symptoms. The sensitivity of SLN biopsy is 95 to 100%, the false-negative rate is 5.5%, and the negative predictive value is 98%. Evidence from a prospective investigation shows that early-stage breast cancer patients with a negative SLN have better disease-free and overall survival than those with a negative ALN dissection. This is most likely a result of the SLN group's patients having more precise axillary staging. For all females with palpable lymph nodes or a positive SLN, ALN dissection is advised.

Radiation therapy

In order to treat preclinical disease, whole-breast radiation is typically administered after breast conserving surgery. A review of 10 randomised controlled trials (RCTs) comparing breast-conserving surgery with and without radiation revealed that, regardless of the use of adjuvant systemic therapy, radiation in addition to surgery significantly decreased the five-year local recurrence rate (7 versus 26 percent; number needed to treat [NNT]=5), as well as seemed to lower the 15-year risk of breast cancer mortality (30.5 versus 35.9 percent; NNT=18). As long as radiation is started within seven months following surgery, a systematic evaluation of three RCTs found that the order of chemotherapy and radiation therapy does not seem to significantly affect survival or recurrence. Because radiation therapy is costly and timeconsuming, shorter treatments can be appealing [3]. In studies examining brachytherapy and condensed radiation regimens, the results at five years seem promising, but there are no long-term data available.

Systemic adjuvant therapies

Adjuvant systemic medications are used most often with patients who have early-stage breast cancer. In addition to decisive local therapy (surgery, radiation therapy, or both), tissue targeted therapies, endocrine therapy, and chemotherapy significantly reduce cancer recurrence and disease-specific mortality. Systemic treatment is most beneficial for diseases that have nodes. The standard of care for female patients with node-positive malignancy or tumours bigger than 1 cm is chemotherapy. Chemotherapy is more beneficial for diseases without hormone receptors than for diseases with hormone receptors. The decision to utilise chemotherapy is also influenced by elements including age and comorbidities. The majority of research point to a marginal advantage of anthracycline or taxane therapy over other chemotherapies, especially in women with malignancies overexpressing ERBB2. The use of a taxane-containing regimen for premenopausal and postmenopausal women with early-stage breast cancer was shown to improve disease-free and overall survival, according to a systematic evaluation of 12 studies. According to a meta-analysis of 13RCTs, adding a taxane to a treatment plan based on anthracyclines increased disease-free survival (five-year risk reduction=5%) and overall survival (five-year risk reduction=3%). Endocrine therapies, including as SERMs, aromatase inhibitors, and gonadotropin-releasing hormone agonists, block or restrict the generation of oestrogen, which stops an estrogen-sensitive tumour from being stimulated. Ovarian ablation or oophorectomy may be considered in premenopausal women. Cancers missing hormone receptors cannot be treated with endocrine treatment. Tamoxifen therapy for five years lowers the breast cancer mortality rate (absolute risk reduction of 9.2% over a 15-year period; NNT=11). In all postmenopausal women with hormone receptor-positive breast cancer, romatase inhibitors should be taken into consideration. In postmenopausal women, they prevent androgens from turning into oestrogen. Studies repeatedly demonstrate that using aromatase inhibitors both concurrently with tamoxifen and after it has been stopped lowers the chance of early-stage breast cancer relapse. A significant RCT shown that the use of letrozole (Femara) after five years of tamoxifen therapy reduced the risk of contralateral breast cancer and increased diseasespecific survival in patients who were node positive. None of these studies revealed an increase in overall survival over tamoxifen. Tamoxifen may not be as well-tolerated by many women as aromatase inhibitors. Premenopausal women should not use aromatase inhibitors.

Tissue-Specific Treatment. Early-stage breast tumours that overexpress ERBB2 account for 20 to 30 percent of cases. The prognosis is typically worse for these tumours. In women with node-positive and high-risk, nodenegative breast tumours overexpressing ERBB2, trastuzumab (Herceptin), a humanised anti-ERBB2 monoclonal antibody, increases disease-specific and overall survival when combined with anthracyclines and paclitaxel (Taxol) treatment. However, cardiac toxicity will manifest in 2 to 3% of patients throughout a two-year course of treatment, thus caution must be used when combining trastuzumab and anthracyclines.

Locally advanced stage III

Tumors greater than 5 cm, considerable regional lymph node involvement, direct involvement of the underlying chest wall or skin, tumours deemed incurable but without distant metastases, and inflammatory breast cancer are all indications of locally advanced breast cancer (LABC). As local therapy (surgery, radiation therapy, or both) is becoming the norm, induction chemotherapy is becoming the preferred method of treatment. In 55% of patients who present with noninflammatory LABC, five years of survival is possible. Response to induction chemotherapy and the status of lymph nodes are the two most crucial prognostic variables.

Assessment systemic therapies

Induction chemotherapy. Patients with LABC who respond exceptionally well to induction chemotherapy experience results comparable to those of those with early-stage illness. Breast-conserving surgery is made possible by preoperative chemotherapy, which reduces the local tumour size. 75% of patients who receive induction chemotherapy see a tumour size reduction of more than 50%. Preoperative chemotherapy raises the likelihood of breast conservation but also raises the likelihood of local recurrence. Even after complete tumour regression, however, local recurrence is not increased as long as surgery is still used as a therapy option. If induction chemotherapy doesn't work well or if the patient prefers it, a mastectomy can be the best course of action. Endocrine Therapy for Induction. Tamoxifen with or without aromatase inhibitors, known as induction endocrine therapy, may be the best option for elderly patients who are unwilling to endure the side effects of chemotherapy. It is less effective than chemotherapy. Following surgery, combination induction chemotherapy and endocrine therapy is typically best for patients with hormone receptor-positive LABC. Starting Tissue-Specific Therapy. Tissue-targeted therapy (trastuzumab) is used as induction therapy, however there aren't many reliable studies on it. For patients with LABC and ERBB2 overexpression, 12 months of postoperative trastuzumab is advised due to the advantages of combining trastuzumab with adjuvant chemotherapy in early-stage breast cancer.

Tumorous breast cancer

The diffuse erythema and edoema (peau d'orange), lack of a palpable mass, early age of diagnosis, poor nuclear grade, negative hormone-receptor status, and poor prognosis of inflammation breast cancer make it relatively uncommon. The management of inflammatory breast cancer is identical to that of noninflammatory LABC, however because it is more aggressive, SLN biopsy and breast-conserving surgery are not advised. Patients typically receive mastectomy followed by chest wall radiation after receiving induction chemotherapy [1,4].

Stage IV: Metastatic

Some women, such as those who experience a relapse following LABC or early-stage breast cancer treatment, will display signs of metastatic illness. Only 23.3 percent of these patients reach five years of survival, thus it's critical to comprehend. Endocrine therapy, chemotherapy, radiation therapy, or the use of bisphosphonates can all be used to ease the discomfort associated with bone problems. The efficacy of systemic therapy is influenced by the presence or absence of hormone receptors, the rate of illness development, and the patient's tolerance of side effects. Contrary to chemotherapy, endocrine therapy is typically more well-tolerated [5]. Chemotherapy may be a better option for treating women whose diseases are fast progressing since it is more likely to prompt a prompt response. For the initial management of metastatic illness overexpressing ERBB2, trastuzumab, with or without chemotherapy, is a viable option. For tumour types that are sensitive, trastuzumab may be used with endocrine treatment.


Breast cancer can come back after initial therapy either locally, regionally (nodes), or at far-off metastatic sites. Within five and ten years, respectively, locoregional recurrence affects about 11 and 20% of patients who received adjuvant therapy. Early recurrence has a bad prognosis and is a sign of a locoregional tumour, which is aggressive. A five-year survival rate of about 40% is seen in recurrences without clinical metastases. After breast-conserving surgery, a mastectomy is recommended if an in-breast tumour returns. This is followed by another round of axillary staging. Although there aren't any RCTs, it is believed that SLN biopsy is suitable if the lymph nodes weren't removed at the beginning and if there isn't any clinical evidence of lymph node involvement. For an isolated chest wall recurrence, wide local excision of the recurring tumour is advised. Induction chemotherapy may help with a successful local treatment if the cancer is incurable. Axillary examination is advised if there is indication of axillary involvement but no distant metastases. Only in cases of inoperable or partially resected recurring illness is radiation therapy advised. A sizable randomised trial is being conducted to determine whether adjuvant systemic chemotherapy is beneficial for patients with recurrence. Recurrent cancer should receive chemotherapy, hormone receptor-positive cancer should receive endocrine therapy, and ERBB2 overexpressed cancers should receive trastuzumab till the effects are known.


Breast cancer treatment may soon be tailored to the unique tumour characteristics of each patient as a result of the advancements in gene sequencing, targeted medicines, and molecular diagnostics. Newly, in patients with hormone receptor-positive tumours receiving adjuvant endocrine therapy in particular, breast cancer diagnosed with low quantities of these markers has such a low chance of recurrence that chemotherapy may only have a somewhat beneficial effect. With the help of the Oncotype DX assay, which identifies patients with node-negative illness who are less likely to benefit from chemotherapy, expression levels of 21 genes are measured. To forecast severe drug-related toxicity, biomarkers are also being developed.



Conflict of Interest



  1. Moo, Tracy-Ann, Rachel Sanford, Chau Dang and Monica Morrow. "Overview of breast cancer therapy." PET clinics 13 (2018): 339-354.
  2. Google Scholar, Crossref, Indexed at

  3. Morrow, Monica, Eric A. Strom, Lawrence W. Bassett and Jay R. Harris, et al. "Standard for breast conservation therapy in the management of invasive breast carcinoma." CA: Cancer J Clin 52 (2002): 277-300.
  4. Google Scholar, Crossref, Indexed at

  5. Clarke, M. "Early Breast Cancer Trialists' Collaborative Group (EBCTCG). Effects of chemotherapy and hormonal therapy for early breast cancer on recurrence and 15-year survival: an overview of the randomised trials." Lancet 365 (2005): 1687-1717.
  6. Google Scholar, Crossref

  7. Mansel, Robert E, Lesley Fallowfield, Mark Kissin and Constantinos Yiangou, et al. "Randomized multicenter trial of sentinel node biopsy versus standard axillary treatment in operable breast cancer: the ALMANAC Trial." J Natl Cancer Inst 98 (2006): 599-609.
  8. Google Scholar, Crossref, Indexed at

  9. Helms, G, T. Kühn, L. Moser and R. Kreienberg, et al. "Shoulder-arm morbidity in patients with sentinel node biopsy and complete axillary dissection–data from a prospective randomised trial." J Surg Oncol (EJSO) 35 (2009): 696-701.
  10. Google Scholar, Crossref, Indexed at

Awards Nomination

50+ Million Readerbase

Journal Highlights

Google Scholar citation report
Citations: 95

Journal of Cancer Clinical Trials received 95 citations as per Google Scholar report

Journal of Cancer Clinical Trials peer review process verified at publons

Indexed In

arrow_upward arrow_upward