Triple-negative breast cancer and new treatment developments

Author(s): Stephen Dyar, Alvaro Moreno-Aspitia

Triple-negative breast cancer (TNBC) is an aggressive immunohistochemical phenotype found in approximately 15% of women with invasive breast cancer. Although TNBC is sensitive to cytotoxic chemotherapy, it is associated with poorer outcomes. Moreover, patients with TNBC are not candidates for hormonal or human epidermal growth factor 2-targeted therapies, thus underscoring the need for new treatments for TNBC. Agents targeting aberrant DNA repair, including platinum and PARP-1 inhibitors, are under evaluation in TNBC based on its overlap with BRCA1-related breast cancer. Several other cytotoxic (e.g., ixabepilone) and targeted agents (e.g., bevacizumab, cetuximab, everolimus and dasatinib) are also being investigated clinically. Results from early clinical trials suggest the potential for improving the outcomes of patients with TNBC in the future.