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Dr. Harigopal on Advances With Breast Cancer Pathology

Malini Harigopal, MD
Published: Wednesday, Sep 21, 2016


Malini Harigopal, MD, associate professor of Pathology, interim director of Breast Pathology, Yale School of Medicine, Yale Cancer Center, discusses the advancements in the pathology of breast cancer.

The most important change is the evaluation of the receptor status of breast cancer. Additionally, the role of the pathologist has moved beyond diagnosing breast cancer to assessing the receptor expression—HER2, progesterone receptor or estrogen receptor (ER)—on breast cancer. This will determine whether an individual patient will respond to treatment or not.

In a breast cancer that strongly expresses ER, patients are likely to respond to endocrine therapy. If ER expression is not present, then other treatment approaches must be looked into, Harigopal explains.

Malini Harigopal, MD, associate professor of Pathology, interim director of Breast Pathology, Yale School of Medicine, Yale Cancer Center, discusses the advancements in the pathology of breast cancer.

The most important change is the evaluation of the receptor status of breast cancer. Additionally, the role of the pathologist has moved beyond diagnosing breast cancer to assessing the receptor expression—HER2, progesterone receptor or estrogen receptor (ER)—on breast cancer. This will determine whether an individual patient will respond to treatment or not.

In a breast cancer that strongly expresses ER, patients are likely to respond to endocrine therapy. If ER expression is not present, then other treatment approaches must be looked into, Harigopal explains.



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