Operative and Therapeutic Advancements in Breast Cancer Metastases to the Brain

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Patients with breast cancer are surviving longer as the state of the art for care advances. Because patients are surviving longer with primary breast cancer, the incidence of secondary metastatic disease has risen. Metastatic breast cancer to the brain was once thought to be universally fatal. While it is still quite lethal, its treatment after diagnosis is increasingly safe and effective. Critical progress has been made in understanding the interaction between breast metastases and the neural niche, neuroimaging of functional anatomy, minimally invasive image-guided brain surgery, characterizing subtypes of breast cancer based on molecular and genetic profiles, and individualized pharmaceuticals and immunotherapies. In this review, we discuss recent advances that have brought us to state-of-the-art management of metastatic breast cancer to the brain.

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