Over recent years, members of the APOBEC3 family of cytosine deaminases have been implicated in increased cancer genome mutagenesis, thereby contributing to intratumor and intertumor genomic heterogeneity and therapy resistance in, among others, breast cancer. Understanding the available methods for clinical detection of these enzymes, the conditions required for their (dysregulated) expression, the clinical impact they have, and the clinical implications they may offer is crucial in understanding the current impact of APOBEC3-mediated mutagenesis in breast cancer. Here, we provide a comprehensive review of recent developments in the detection of APOBEC3-mediated mutagenesis and responsible APOBEC3 enzymes, summarize the pathways that control their expression, and explore the clinical ramifications and opportunities they pose. We propose that APOBEC3-mediated mutagenesis can function as a helpful predictive biomarker in several standard-of-care breast cancer treatment plans and may be a novel target for treatment.

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