Triple negative breast cancer: A review of clinicopathologic characteristics and treatment options

Laura J. Porro, Amy A. Mrazek, Techksell M. Washington, Celia Chao

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


Breast cancer is the second leading cause of cancer death in women. Approximately 15-20% are triple negative breast cancer (TNBC: no protein expression of estrogen receptor, progesterone receptor, nor human epidermal growth factor receptor 2), representing one of the most challenging molecular subtypes of breast cancer. TNBC encompasses a heterogenous group of breast cancers that are not generally responsive to targeted therapies for hormone and growth factor receptors. Compared to their hormone receptor-positive counterparts, TNBC cases are associated with poor prognosis, worse overall survival and earlier recurrence. The purpose of this review is to describe the clinicopathologic features, molecular variants, associations with the BRCA genes, and therapeutic approaches for TNBC. New TNBC-targeted drug therapies are currently under investigation and include poly-ADP-ribose polymerase (PARP) inhibitors, platinum-based drugs, anti-epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) inhibitors, and anti-vascular endothelial growth factor receptor (VEGF) inhibitors. Both clinical trials and basic research are needed to further our understanding of the best treatment options for patients with TNBC.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1-8
Number of pages8
JournalOpen Breast Cancer Journal
Issue number1
StatePublished - May 12 2014


  • Triple negative breast cancer

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Cancer Research


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