A case of HER2-positive breast cancer with rapidly progressing CNS metastases

BJMO - volume 15, issue 3, may 2021

J. Heylen , N. De Moor MD, H. Janssen MD, PhD, K. Punie MD, H. Wildiers MD, PhD


A 53-year old woman previously treated for stage IIIc Her2-positive breast cancer presented to the outpatient oncology department with symptoms of holocranial headache irradiating to the neck in combination with morning sickness and vomitus. Brain CT showed multiple cerebellar metastases with signs of tonsillar herniation through the foramen magnum. Since radiotherapy was deemed unsafe given the possibility that transient increase of intracranial pressure could worsen the herniation, urgent treatment with corticosteroids and capecitabine-lapatinib was started. The metastases and peritumoral oedema initially responded well, which allowed subsequent pancranial radiotherapy after three weeks of systemic therapy. We provide a short overview of studies showing that systemic therapy can induce tumour response in brain metastases related to HER2+ positive disease.

BELG J MED ONCOL 2021;15(3):123-7

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