When breast cancer spreads to the brain, important molecular changes may occur in the cancer, a small study found.
The discovery of these changes could lead to improved diagnosis and treatment, the researchers said.
About 20 percent of breast cancers are a type known as HER2-positive, which typically respond to targeted therapies. However, HER2-negative breast cancer that has spread to the brain doesn’t respond to the same therapies.
In this study, researchers analyzed tumors from 20 patients in the United States and Ireland. They found that primary breast cancer identified as HER2-negative switched to HER2-positive when it spread to the brain.
The findings show that treatments should target not only the original breast cancer, but also brain tumors, said study author Adrian Lee, director of the Institute for Precision Medicine, part of the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center.
Click here to Read the full article: Breast Cancer Cells May Change When They Spread to Brain: Study
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