The role of surgery and ablative radiotherapy in oligometastatic breast cancer.
The ability to deliver precise focused radiation, combined with improved surgical techniques, has led to multiple reports of long-term survivors in patients with oligometastatic breast cancer. The removal or ablation of known metastases, often present after systemic therapy regimens has the potential to be paradigm shifting rendering many patients without evidence of disease. However, the utility of these therapies has not been proven in phase III studies. Additionally, patient selection for metastasis-directed therapies is based on clinical criteria, with many patients not benefiting from these therapies. Refinements of radiation techniques are continuing, and discoveries are uncovering the biology of breast cancer in the oligometastatic state among patients. Integrated into ongoing studies, and those in development, they have the potential to alter standard management strategies in oligometastatic patients.
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