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[Editorial] Breast cancer targeted therapy: successes and challenges

This Lancet issue features a three-part Series on targeted treatment for the three most common breast cancer subtypes: oestrogen-receptor-positive (ER+), HER2-positive (HER2+), and the more heterogenous triple-negative disease. “Sometimes we have the feeling that not much has happened in everyday clinical practice” Series author Sibylle Loibl, chair of the German Breast Group says in an accompanying podcast, “but if you take a closer look then quite a bit has changed”. Indeed when the first Lancet breast cancer Series was published in 2011, the focus was on gene expression profiling to inform prognosis and predict response to conventional therapy, whereas this Series describes the clinical use of novel targeted agents in newly defined genetic subtypes of breast cancer.