Is there just one breast cancer? – Mayo Clinic


Breast cancer is an entire spectrum of
disease, from very low grade DCIS, which is almost similar to just an atypical
finding that is considered benign, all the way up to the other end of the
spectrum, which is a very high grade invasive tumor. So there is quite a
spectrum of breast cancer and within that spectrum of the appearance of
cancers under the microscope we also add the layer of what we call molecular or
biologic complexity. The most common tumor biology type is an estrogen-positive breast cancer and anti-estrogen treatments are one of the most common
treatments that are delivered for women who have those kinds of tumors. The other main tumor receptor that I mentioned which is HER2 is a receptor that there
are also some specific treatments called immunotherapies that will target those
cell receptors and kill those cancer cells. Those treatments are delivered
intravenously so, and there is good data that they’re
more effective when they’re given with a low dose of chemotherapy along with it.
So currently that’s how those treatments are delivered but we have seen amazing
responses in women who have those types of tumors and who get these
immunotherapies. And then there’s also some current research going on at Mayo
Clinic to try to develop vaccines that specifically will target these types of
cells with HER2 receptors.

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