JOURNAL OF SHANGHAI JIAOTONG UNIVERSITY (MEDICAL SCIENCE) ›› 2021, Vol. 41 ›› Issue (5): 671-677.doi: 10.3969/j.issn.1674-8115.2021.05.019

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Research progress in the systemic treatment for breast cancer with brain metastasis

Jia-ling ZHANG1(), Feng-chun ZHANG2, Ying-chun XU1()   

  1. 1.Department of Oncology, Renji Hospital, Shanghai Jiao Tong University School of Medicine, Shanghai 200127, China
    2.Department of Oncology, Suzhou Kowloon Hospital, Shanghai Jiao Tong University School of Medicine, Suzhou 215021, China
  • Online:2021-05-28 Published:2021-05-27
  • Contact: Ying-chun XU;
  • Supported by:
    National Natural Science Foundation of China(81301858);Natural Science Foundation of Jiangsu Province(BK20181186)


Breast cancer is one of the most common malignancies in women. Brain metastases occur in approximately 10%–20% of patients with advanced breast cancer. In recent years, with the rapid progress of systemic treatment, extracranial lesions have been effectively controlled and the survival time of patients with breast cancer have been prolonged. Thus the possibility of developing brain metastases has been increased. Moreover, advances in modern diagnostic imaging technology and the routine surveillance of cancer patients have increased the detection rate of brain lesions. Based on the above two aspects, the breast cancer brain metastases (BCBM) have become increasingly common in the clinical settings. Because many chemotherapeutic drugs can not penetrate the blood-brain barrier, the patients with brain metastases have less treatment options, worse survival outcomes and lower quality of life. This article focuses on the recent advances in systemic treatment for BCBM, aiming to provide reference for basic research and clinical practices of this disease.

Key words: breast cancer, brain metastasis, systemic therapy, human epidermal growth factor receptor 2 (HER2), targeted therapy

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