Frontiers in Bioscience-Elite (FBE) is published by IMR Press from Volume 13 Issue 2 (2021). Previous articles were published by another publisher on a subscription basis, and they are hosted by IMR Press on imrpress.com as a courtesy and upon agreement with Frontiers in Bioscience.
EGFR and HER2 signaling in breast cancer brain metastasis
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Breast cancer occurs in approximately 1 in 8 women and 1 in 37 women with breast cancer succumbed to the disease. Over the past decades, new diagnostic tools and treatments have substantially improved the prognosis of women with local diseases. However, women with metastatic disease still have a dismal prognosis without effective treatments. Among different molecular subtypes of breast cancer, the HER2-enriched and basal-like subtypes typically have higher rates of metastasis to the brain. Basal-like metastatic breast tumors frequently express EGFR. Consequently, HER2- and EGFR-targeted therapies are being used in the clinic and/or evaluated in clinical trials for treating breast cancer patients with brain metastases. In this review, we will first provide an overview of the HER2 and EGFR signaling pathways. The roles that EGFR and HER2 play in breast cancer metastasis to the brain will then be discussed. Finally, we will summarize the preclinical and clinical effects of EGFR- and HER2-targeted therapies on breast cancer metastasis.