Cancer researchers continue to search mechanisms of how and why cancer cells change over time. Several notable studies have described how the characteristics, such as surface receptors, do change as time goes on. In some instances, these alterations can affect treatment recommendations for patients.
After reviewing the biopsy results of over 1,000 women with breast cancer that had returned, when compared to their original biopsy, over 300 (about 33%) cases showed hormone receptor status alterations – from positive to negative, and vice versa.
If you are a woman with a recurrent breast cancer, depending on the site of return, it may be important to inquire about whether a new biopsy could lead to more specific treatment.
For more information on receptors analysis in breast cancer, refer to this article describing results of testing methods from Illinois, Arizona and California laboratories: