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"I promise, Suzy... Even if it takes the rest of my life." - Nancy G. Brinker, founder of Susan G. Komen for the Cure

What is Triple Negative Breast Cancer?


Just in recent years, Triple Negative Breast Cancer has sparked interest in the news where instead of calling the tumor as ER-negative, PR-negative, and HER2-negative; researchers began using the shorthand term, "Triple Negative," dubbed the "new type" type of cancer. Being Triple Negative, you don't have a targeted therapy and that your only treatment option is chemotherapy.

Triple Negative is seen in about 15% of all breast cancers. Triple Negative is a very aggressive cancer that tends to strike younger women, pre-menopause, especially among African-American women and women who have BRCA1 mutations. The tumor tends to be fast growing and is less likely to show up on an annual mammogram. TN is more likely to metastasis early on; has a high rate of recurrence in the first 2-3 years from diagnosis and has a poorer prognosis than other types of breast cancer due to lack of specific, targeted treatment for TNBC.

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Tuesday, March 13, 2012

MBCC 2012: Emerging Therapies For Triple-Negative Breast Cancer

Excerpt from  CancerNetwork's interview with Dr. Joyce O'Shaughnessy:

CANCERNETWORK: Dr. O’Shaughnessy, what are the current treatment options for women diagnosed with triple-negative breast cancer? Let’s start with metastatic disease.
DR. O’SHAUGHNESSY: Metastatic cancer that is triple-negative is difficult to treat because our therapies are generally short-lived in their benefit, if they benefit patients at all. There is a subset of triple-negative metastatic patients who really don’t have responsive disease to any of our standard therapies. Our therapies are basically three, in my opinion, at the Level 1 evidence—where we have enough data from large phase III trials where we can say we know what the level of efficacy is—and that is 1) paclitaxel(Drug information on paclitaxel)-bevacizumab, 2) gemcitabine(Drug information on gemcitabine)-carboplatin, and 3) ixabepilone-capecitabine. These are the 3 options I think we have enough focused data on triple-negative breast cancer evidence to give them Level 1 evidence. There are a number of other agents we use such as the new drug eribulin which has a survival advantage in late-line metastatic breast cancer. That is certainly a reasonable option. And we certainly can use single-agent taxane as well, but those are the treatments that I think are most established for triple-negative breast cancer.

(Clink to link to full interview)

1 comment:

  1. Sadly not much for many metastatic cancers. I heard PARP inhibitors, while not as promising as originally hoped, do work some on many BRCA positive Triple Negatives. And that BRCA breast cancers (which are usually TN) may be among the small group of survivors who respond to Avistin.


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