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Cancer Biol Ther. 2018;19(10):858-868. doi: 10.1080/15384047.2018.1456599. Epub 2018 Apr 30.

Breast cancer lung metastasis: Molecular biology and therapeutic implications.

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a Department of Breast Surgery , Hubei Cancer Hospital , Wuhan , China.
b Department of Surgery , Samuel Oschin Comprehensive Cancer Institute, Cedars-Sinai Medical Center , Los Angeles , CA , USA.
c Laboratory for Breast Cancer Diagnosis and Treatment , Cancer Hospital of Shantou University Medical College , Shantou , China.


Distant metastasis accounts for the vast majority of deaths in patients with cancer. Breast cancer exhibits a distinct metastatic pattern commonly involving bone, liver, lung, and brain. Breast cancer can be divided into different subtypes based on gene expression profiles, and different breast cancer subtypes show preference to distinct organ sites of metastasis. Luminal breast tumors tend to metastasize to bone while basal-like breast cancer (BLBC) displays a lung tropism of metastasis. However, the mechanisms underlying this organ-specific pattern of metastasis still remain to be elucidated. In this review, we will summarize the recent advances regarding the molecular signaling pathways as well as the therapeutic strategies for treating breast cancer lung metastasis.


Breast cancer; cancer stem cell; chemokine; lung metastasis; microenvironment

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