Does the presence of sarcomatoid features in metaplastic triple negative breast cancer present a new target for treatment or change the treatment options?

Patient has metastatic triple negative breast cancer with sarcomatoid features, as well as a large schwannoma in her right biceps. No one seems to feel that the sarcomatoid features or schwannoma are significant. Her cancer is progressing in her lungs and she is starting a clinical trial. Options are running short if this treatment does not help. Was wondering if a sarcoma expert has experience with breast cancer with sarcomatoid features? Would treatment be different?

I am a volunteer patient advocate working primarily with women having metatstatic triple negative breast cancer.

Expert Answers

RobertMakiMDPhD (Physician - Oncology - Hematology/Oncology (Verified) ) - 07 / 10 / 2012

This is a very good question, one I am asked surprisingly frequently. It turns out that anything called “sarcomatoid carcinoma” as seen in breast, lung, and elsewhere is still a carcinoma. It is generally treated with carcinoma (e.g. breast cancer) drugs. As we learn more about each of these unique subtypes of cancer, we are finding out each may also have a molecular signature that predicts for one or more unique drugs that may be of use. This is another rapidly evolving area and a good reason to both do your own research, as well as ask for a second opinion (but not necessarily 4, 5, and 6 opinions!) to do your due diligence and make sure the right thing is being done. Since there are changes we hear about essentially weekly, it is prudent to remain a good student.
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