Surgery or ablative radiotherapy for breast cancer oligometastases.
Precisely focused radiation or surgical resection of limited metastases resulted in long-term disease control and survival in multiple studies of patients with oligometastatic breast cancer. The integration of these ablative techniques into standard systemic therapy regimens has the potential to be paradigm shifting, leaving many patients without evidence of disease. Although an attractive treatment option, the utility of these therapies have not been proven in controlled studies, and improved outcomes may be because of patient selection or favorable biology alone. Ongoing studies continue to refine radiation techniques and determine the role for ablative therapies in the management of patients with metastatic breast cancer (MBC). Additionally, patient selection for metastasis-directed therapies is based on clinical criteria, with many not benefiting from therapies that may have substantial toxicities. Recent reports are beginning to uncover the biology of oligometastatic cancer, but much work is needed. Current and developing trials that integrate both clinical and translational endpoints have the potential to transform management strategies in women with limited MBC.
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