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Open Access Publications from the University of California

Status of Intraductal Therapy for Ductal Carcinoma in Situ

  • Author(s): Flanagan, Meghan
  • Love, Susan
  • Hwang, E. Shelley
  • et al.

The intraductal approach is particularly appealing in the setting of ductal carcinoma in situ (DCIS), a preinvasive breast neoplasm that is thought to be entirely intraductal in its extent. Based on an emerging understanding of the anatomy of the ductal system as well as novel techniques to leverage the access accorded by the intraductal approach, researchers are actively exploring how ductal lavage, ductoscopy, and intraductal infusion of therapeutic agents may enhance breast cancer treatment. Both cytologic and molecular diagnostics continue to improve, and work is ongoing to identify the most effective diagnostic biomarkers for DCIS and cancer, although optimal targeting of the diseased duct remains an important consideration. Ductoscopy holds potential in detection of occult intraductal lesions, and ductoscopically guided lumpectomy could increase the likelihood of a more comprehensive surgical excision. Exciting pilot studies are in progress to determine the safety and feasibility of intraductal chemotherapy infusion. These studies are an important starting point for future investigations of intraductal ablative therapy for DCIS, because as our knowledge and techniques evolve, it is likely that DCIS may be the target most amenable to treatment by intraductal therapy. If such studies are successful, these approaches will allow an important and meaningful transformation in treatment options for women diagnosed with DCIS.

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