Leptomeningeal metastasis (LM) is an uncommon presentation of relapse in breast cancer, which is associated with poor clinical outcomes and poor prognosis. Notably, LM most commonly occurs in breast cancer. The aim of the present review was to investigate the occurrence of LM as the primary presentation of relapse following remission in breast cancer patients and to determine whether specific histological subtypes are predisposed to meningeal metastases. In addition, the present review evaluated whether patients presenting with LM as the primary site of relapse exhibit differences in survival when compared with patients exhibiting metastasis to other sites. Cross-sectional studies have demonstrated that LM is commonly associated with other sites of distant metastasis including lung, liver and bone metastases. The histological breast cancer subtype most commonly associated with LM was invasive lobular carcinoma, while triple-negative breast cancer patients appear to be predisposed to the development of LM when considering the overall prevalence of histological breast cancer subtypes. At present, data regarding LM as the primary site of relapse are limited due to its rarity as the first site of metastasis in breast cancer. Case-controlled studies are required to investigate the incidence of LM as the primary site of recurrence in breast cancer patients as this would enable treatment standardization and identification of prognostic factors for improved survival.
- leptomeningeal metastasis
- breast cancer
- invasive lobular cancer
- triple negative breast cancer