Breast Cancer: Latest Research

Approved by the Cancer.Net Editorial Board, 04/2017

ON THIS PAGE: You will read about the scientific research being done now to learn more about this type of cancer and how to treat it. Use the menu to see other pages.

Doctors are working to learn more about early-stage and locally advanced breast cancer, including ways to prevent it, how to best treat it, and how to provide the best care to people diagnosed with this disease. The following areas of research may include new options for patients through clinical trials. Always talk with your doctor about the best diagnostic and treatment options for you. Areas of research include:

  • Research on the causes of early-stage and locally advanced breast cancer, such as endocrine (hormone) disrupters, environment causes, diet, and lifestyle choices, to find other ways to help prevent the disease.

  • Finding new ways to prevent early-stage and locally advanced breast cancer and to help find breast cancer early.

  • Developing ways to best evaluate the genes and proteins at work in each patient and each breast cancer, to determine the best treatment options for each patient.

  • Determining what early-stage cancers may or may not need chemotherapy.

  • Determining the best strategies to select type and duration of adjuvant hormonal therapy.

  • Evaluating preferred surgical strategies, including best management of the breast and axillary lymph nodes.

  • Testing shorter radiation therapy schedules and more targeted radiation approaches.

  • Finding new reconstructive surgery approaches.

  • Testing new drug therapies and combinations of therapies for early-stage and locally advanced breast cancer, including strategies to improve hormonal therapies for ER+ breast cancer, methods to optimally target the HER2 receptor for HER2+ breast cancer, and strategies to best target triple negative breast cancer.

  • Finding better ways of reducing symptoms and side effects of breast cancer treatments to improve patients’ comfort and quality of life.

  • Learning more about the social and emotional factors that may affect patients’ treatment plans and quality of life.

Looking for More About the Latest Research?

If you would like additional information about the latest areas of research regarding early-stage and locally advanced breast cancer, explore these related items that take you outside of this guide:

The next section in this guide is Coping with Treatment. It offers some guidance in how to cope with the physical, emotional, and social changes that cancer and its treatment can bring. You may use the menu to choose a different section to read in this guide.