Targeted therapies in breast cancer: New challenges to fight against resistance

World J Clin Oncol. 2017 Apr 10;8(2):120-134. doi: 10.5306/wjco.v8.i2.120.


Breast cancer is the most common type of cancer found in women and today represents a significant challenge to public health. With the latest breakthroughs in molecular biology and immunotherapy, very specific targeted therapies have been tailored to the specific pathophysiology of different types of breast cancers. These recent developments have contributed to a more efficient and specific treatment protocol in breast cancer patients. However, the main challenge to be further investigated still remains the emergence of therapeutic resistance mechanisms, which develop soon after the onset of therapy and need urgent attention and further elucidation. What are the recent emerging molecular resistance mechanisms in breast cancer targeted therapy and what are the best strategies to apply in order to circumvent this important obstacle? The main scope of this review is to provide a thorough update of recent developments in the field and discuss future prospects for preventing resistance mechanisms in the quest to increase overall survival of patients suffering from the disease.

Keywords: Angiogenesis; Breast cancers; Human epidermal growth factor receptor 2; Immune tolerance; Resistance; Triple negative.

Publication types

  • Review