Clinical and molecular complexity of breast cancer metastases.

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article


Clinical oncology is advancing toward a more personalized treatment orientation, making the need to understand the biology of metastasis increasingly acute. Dissecting the complex molecular, genetic and clinical phenotypes underlying the processes involved in the development of metastatic disease, which remains the principal cause of cancer-related deaths, could lead to the identification of more effective prognostication and targeted approaches to prevent and treat metastases. The past decade has witnessed significant progress in the field of cancer metastasis research. Clinical and technological milestones have been reached which have tremendously enriched our understanding of the complex pathways undertaken by primary tumors to progress into lethal metastases and how some of these processes might be amenable to therapy. The aim of this review article is to highlight the recent advances toward unraveling the clinical and molecular complexity of breast cancer metastases. We focus on genes mediating breast cancer metastases and organ-specific tropism, and discuss gene signatures for prediction of metastatic disease. The challenges of translating this information into clinically applicable tools for improving the prognostication of the metastatic potential of a primary breast tumor, as well as for therapeutic interventions against latent and active metastatic disease are addressed.


Research areas and keywords

Subject classification (UKÄ) – MANDATORY

  • Cancer and Oncology
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)85-95
JournalSeminars in Cancer Biology
Publication statusPublished - 2015
Publication categoryResearch