PURPOSE: In order to determine whether new treatments for advanced breast cancer resulted in improved survival, we analyzed treatment and survival trends in 232 women with metastatic breast cancer treated in the Minneapolis/St. Paul metropolitan area between 1990 and 2003. PATIENTS AND METHODS: Subjects were identified from area hospital tumor registries and the Minnesota Department of Health. Data on demographics, estrogen receptor status, location of metastases, and treatment were obtained from hospital tumor registries and medical records. RESULTS: A total of 95 patients were diagnosed between 1990 and 1995, and 137 were diagnosed between 1996 and 2003. Overall, there was no difference in survival for women treated between 1990 and 1995 and those treated from 1996 to 2003 (13 months vs. 19 months; P = .38). Chemotherapy recipients in the latter cohort had significantly longer survival than chemotherapy recipients in the earlier cohort (13 months vs. 29 months; P = .03). There were no differences found in survival between cohorts for women receiving hormonal therapy only (18 months vs. 16 months; P = .81). CONCLUSION: We conclude that newer chemotherapeutic agents have had an impact on survival in women with metastatic breast cancer. Newer hormonal agents did not have the same impact on survival in our study.