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This article is the author's final published version in Cell Reports Medicine, Volume 4, Issue 12, December 2023, Article number 101330.

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Copyright © 2023 The Authors


ncreased breast cancer (BC) mortality risk posed by delayed surgical resection of tumor after diagnosis is a growing concern, yet the underlying mechanisms remain unknown. Our cohort analyses of early-stage BC patients reveal the emergence of a significantly rising mortality risk when the biopsy-to-surgery interval was extended beyond 53 days. Additionally, histology of post-biopsy tumors shows prolonged retention of a metastasis-permissive wound stroma dominated by M2-like macrophages capable of promoting cancer cell epithelial-to-mesenchymal transition and angiogenesis. We show that needle biopsy promotes systemic dissemination of cancer cells through a mechanism of sustained activation of the COX-2/PGE2/EP2 feedforward loop, which favors M2 polarization and its associated pro-metastatic changes but are abrogated by oral treatment with COX-2 or EP2 inhibitors in estrogen-receptor-positive (ER+) syngeneic mouse tumor models. Therefore, we conclude that needle biopsy of ER+ BC provokes progressive pro-metastatic changes, which may explain the mortality risk posed by surgery delay after diagnosis.

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This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.