Resection of the primary tumor in stage IV breast cancer

Tadahiko Shien, Hiroyoshi Doihara

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Citations (Scopus)


Stage IV breast cancer refers to breast cancer that has already metastasized to distant regions when initially diagnosed. Treatment for stage IV is intended to "prolong survival and palliate symptoms". Resection of a primary tumor is considered to be "effective only at alleviating chest symptoms and providing local control" in spite of the advances of imaging examination and medication for breast cancer. Molecular target and endocrine drugs are very effective and useful to tailor-make a treatment strategy according to breast cancer subtypes. Positron emission tomography-computed tomography can detect and diagnose the very small metastases and recurrences which can potentially be cured even if they are distant metastases. Recently, many retrospective studies have reported the survival benefit of surgery for breast cancer patients with metastases and some clinical trials which confirm the surgical prognostic benefit for them have started to enrol patients. The goal of treatment has to be clearly identified: increase the patient's survival time, provide local control or perform histology to determine the cancer's properties. The best evidence is absolutely essential to treat patients who need surgery at the right time. We need to evaluate the treatment strategy, including primary resection for stage IV breast cancer particularly, and find new evidence by prospective analysis.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)82-85
Number of pages4
JournalWorld Journal of Clinical Oncology
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - May 10 2014


  • Breast cancer
  • Clinical trial
  • Metastasis
  • Stage IV
  • Surgery
  • Survival

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology


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