Stage IV cancers have spread beyond the breast and nearby lymph nodes to other parts of the body. When breast cancer spreads, it most commonly goes to the bones, liver, and lungs. For women with stage IV breast cancer, systemic drug therapies are the main treatments. These may include:.
The liver represents the third most frequent site of metastasis in patients with breast cancer. We performed in vivo selection using 4T1 breast cancer cells to identify genes associated with the liver metastatic phenotype. Coincident with the loss of numerous tight-junctional proteins, we observe claudin-2 overexpression, specifically in liver-aggressive breast cancer cells. We further demonstrate that claudin-2 is both necessary and sufficient for the ability of 4T1 breast cancer cells to colonize and grow in the liver. The liver-aggressive breast cancer cells display a claudinmediated increase in their ability to adhere to extracellular matrix ECM components, such as fibronectin and type IV collagen.
Metastatic stage 4 HER2-positive breast cancer is not curable—but it is treatable , and options continue to expand and improve. In addition, targeted therapies tend to have far fewer side effects than chemotherapy drugs. The HER2-positive breast cancer treatment that is right for you will depend on several factors, including whether your tumor is also estrogen-receptor positive, where the cancer has metastasized to, and what treatment you received in the past if you were previously HER2-positive. As such, the diagnosis often comes as a shock to many.
Cancers that spread to the liver most often are colorectal cancer as well as with breast, esophageal, stomach, pancreatic, lung, kidney and melanoma skin cancers. Cancer in the liver can cause different symptoms based on how much of the liver is involved. Some common symptoms include. This can cause confusion, sleepiness, and even coma. Surgery to remove the metastases may be an option if there are a small number of tumors in the liver and they are not in areas that would affect normal liver function.