Breast cancer is the most common noncutaneous malignancy among every major ethnic group of women in the United States. Anthracyclines and taxanes are the most active and widely used chemotherapeutic agents for breast cancer, but the increased use of these agents at an early stage of disease often renders tumors resistant to these drugs by the time the disease recurs, thereby reducing the number of treatment options for metastatic disease. Moreover, even when these agents can be used in the metastatic setting, treatment failure occurs in most cases, and as a result the 5-year survival rates of patients with metastatic breast cancer are low. This outcome underscores the need for new, effective treatments of metastatic breast cancer and has led to investigation of novel ways to overcome the problem of drug resistance. This article reviews the current treatment options for breast cancer resistant to anthracycline and taxane and provides recommendations for disease management. Published sources for this review were found by searching PubMed (https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/ pubmed) and congress Web sites.
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