When breast cancer spreads to the brain
When breast cancer spreads, it can travel to distant sites in the body such as the lungs, liver, bones, or brain. Breast cancer in the brain (called brain metastases) requires a dedicated team of experienced researchers and clinicians.
At the Susan F. Smith Center for Women’s Cancers, a patient with metastatic breast cancer that has spread to the brain can receive
dedicated support through the Embrace program, and also benefit from a centralized program in
Brain Metastases, in which a multidisciplinary team of experts including medical oncologists, radiation oncologists, and neurosurgeons work together to provide a seamless experience.
Our medical oncologists in the Susan F. Smith Center have a special focus on treating breast cancer patients with brain metastases. In addition to offering expert, compassionate care, this core group leads national and international clinical trials testing
new therapies, and combinations, for various subtypes of breast cancer that has spread to the brain.
They also work hand-in-hand with scientists on genomic sequencing of tumor tissue samples, and basic researchers on the testing of various compounds in these samples.
The Susan F. Smith Center offers more clinical trials for metastatic breast cancer than any other center in New England. Within these trials, several are focused on breast cancer that has spread to the brain.
Support and Education
Patients with breast cancer that has spread to the brain have many opportunities for education and support through the Metastatic Breast Cancer Program. In particular, several recent webcasts address research and treatment for this type of cancer.
Nancy Lin, MD, provides two presentations on treatments for patients whose breast cancer has traveled to the brain:
Part 1 provides an overview of breast cancer brain metastasis and describes local therapy including surgery and radiation.
Part 2 focuses on chemotherapy, targeted therapy, and ongoing clinical trials.
Rachel Freedman, MD, MPH
Ian Krop, MD, PhD
Nancy Lin, MD
Sara Tolaney, MD, MPH
Eric Winer, MD