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10.08.2019 | Review Article

Molecular Biology in the Breast Clinics—Current status and future perspectives

Indian Journal of Surgical Oncology
Vani Parmar, Nita S Nair, Purvi Thakkar, Garvit Chitkara
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Breast cancer is no longer considered a single disease, and with better understanding of cancer biology, its management has evolved over the years, into a complex individualized use of therapeutics based on variable expressions of predictive and prognostic factors. With the advent of molecular and genetic research, the complexity and diversity of breast cancer cells and their ability to survive and develop resistance to treatment strategies became more evident. At the same time, targeted therapies evolved, as specific targets were discovered such as HER2 receptor, and androgen receptor. More recent is the development of immunotherapy which aims at strengthening the host immune system to identify and kill the tumor cells. In breast cancer treatment, use of molecular tests has been a target of controversies, due to their high costs and inaccessibility in limited resource situations. Research in breast cancer is also proceeding at a rapid pace, but it is important to remember that breast cancer continues to be a complex interplay of alterations at molecular and genetic level, with the variability in expressions at protein level leading to difference in behavior and responses to treatment and overall outcome. In the succeeding paragraphs, we will try to review the available evidence in literature and attempt to understand the molecular complexity of breast cancer in order to simplify the art of treating the disease and improving outcomes.

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