Unraveling the Layers of Metastatic Breast Cancer

The death of “Grease” star Olivia Newton-John from metastatic breast cancer has triggered discussions about the specifics of the disease. Here, CURE® details what metastatic breast cancer is.

Public attention toward metastatic breast cancer has risen over the past few weeks since the death of actress Olivia Newton-John.

Newton-John, 73, died five years after she received a diagnosis of metastatic breast cancer. She was first diagnosed with breast cancer in 1992.

Her death has triggered discussions about the specifics of the disease.

What is Metastatic Breast Cancer?

Metastatic breast cancer, also known as stage 4 disease, has spread from the breast to other parts of the body such as the lungs, liver, bones and brain. Metastatic breast cancer is still breast cancer because it originated in the breast. Even if the cancer cells spread to the brain, for example, they are still breast cancer cells.

As a result, health care professionals will utilize breast cancer therapies to help stem the spread of the cancer cells. While there is no cure for metastatic breast cancer, there are many available treatments for patients with metastatic breast cancer that have been shown to help patients live long lives after their diagnosis.

Below, CURE® compiled a list of articles detailing updates on the latest treatment advances in metastatic breast cancer. There are also several blogs from CURE® contributors that give an inside look into the lives of patients receiving treatment for metastatic breast cancer.

Updates on Recent Developments in Metastatic Breast Cancer

FDA Approves Enhertu for HER2-Low Metastatic Breast Cancer.

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) recently approved Enhertu (fam-trastuzumab-deruxtecan-nxki) for the treatment of patients with unresectable or metastatic HER2-low breast cancer, marking the first targeted therapy approved for patients with HER2-low breast cancer.

Novel Advancements Have Led to More Tailored Treatments of Brain Metastases in HER2-Positive Metastatic Breast Cancer.

Substantial advancements over the past several years have given rise to a more tailored approach in the treatment of active central nervous system disease — particularly brain metastases — in patients with HER2-postive metastatic breast cancer, according to Dr. Mark Pegram, an associate dean for Clinical Research Quality at Stanford University School of Medicine in California.

FDA Speeds Up Development of New Metastatic Breast Cancer Treatment.

In April 2022, The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) granted a fast-track designation to Bria-IMT (SV-BR-1-GM) for the treatment of patients with metastatic breast cancer.

Early Study Findings Show Novel Drug Elicits Promising Results in Metastatic Breast Cancers.

Data presented at the 2022 American Society of Clinical Oncology Annual Meeting demonstrated that treatment with the novel drug HER3-DXd (patritumab deruxtecan) was associated with inducing encouraging responses in patients with HER3-expressing metastatic breast cancer or metastatic triple-negative breast cancer.

Stories From Patients Living With Metastatic Breast Cancer

A Metastatic Breast Cancer Conference Helped Me Connect With Hope.

Contributor Martha Carlson writes about how attending Living Beyond Breast Cancer’s Conference on Metastatic Breast Cancer helped her find community and solidarity.

While I’m Busy Living With Metastatic Cancer, My Body Is Still Aging.

Contributor Marissa Holzer, a long-time patient with metastatic breast cancer, reflects on the strangeness of her body aging.

Patient With Metastatic Breast Cancer Recalls Witness of Data Leading to Enhertu Approval in HER2-Low Disease.

A patient with metastatic breast cancer recalls the emotional experience of being among the thousands of attendees who gave a standing ovation in an auditorium in Chicago when the results of the phase 3 DESTINY-Breast04 trial — which recently led to the FDA approval of Enhertu in HER2-low disease — were presented at the 2022 ASCO Annual Meeting.

‘I Feel as Though I Know Her:’ How Connectedness and Support for Patients With Metastatic Breast Cancer Travels Across Social Media.

A metastatic breast cancer survivor honors another survivor whom she was inspired by through social media for her contributions to helping others who have lost their hair during cancer treatment and spreading positivity.

One Woman, Many Lakes: Swimming to Raise Awareness for Metastatic Breast Cancer.

A retired teacher with breast cancer is recognized for her dedication to raising money and awareness for metastatic breast cancer by swimming across as many lakes as possible.

For more news on cancer updates, research and education, don’t forget to subscribe to CURE®’s newsletters here.