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Current advances in biomarkers for targeted therapy in triple-negative breast cancer

Authors Fleisher B, Clarke C, Ait-Oudhia S

Received 9 June 2016

Accepted for publication 24 August 2016

Published 6 October 2016 Volume 2016:8 Pages 183—197


Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single-blind

Peer reviewer comments 4

Editor who approved publication: Professor Pranela Rameshwar

Brett Fleisher,1 Charlotte Clarke,2 Sihem Ait-Oudhia1

1Department of Pharmaceutics, Center for Pharmacometrics and Systems Pharmacology, College of Pharmacy, University of Florida, Orlando, FL, 2Department of Translational Research, UT MD Anderson Cancer Center, Houston, TX, USA

Abstract: Triple-negative breast cancer (TNBC) is a complex heterogeneous disease characterized by the absence of three hallmark receptors: human epidermal growth factor receptor 2, estrogen receptor, and progesterone receptor. Compared to other breast cancer subtypes, TNBC is more aggressive, has a higher prevalence in African-Americans, and more frequently affects younger patients. Currently, TNBC lacks clinically accepted targets for tailored therapy, warranting the need for candidate biomarkers. BiomarkerBase, an online platform used to find biomarkers reported in clinical trials, was utilized to screen all potential biomarkers for TNBC and select only the ones registered in completed TNBC trials through The selected candidate biomarkers were classified as surrogate, prognostic, predictive, or pharmacodynamic (PD) and organized by location in the blood, on the cell surface, in the cytoplasm, or in the nucleus. Blood biomarkers include vascular endothelial growth factor/vascular endothelial growth factor receptor and interleukin-8 (IL-­8); cell surface biomarkers include EGFR, insulin-like growth factor binding protein, c-Kit, c-Met, and PD-L1; cytoplasm biomarkers include PIK3CA, pAKT/S6/p4E-BP1, PTEN, ALDH1, and the PIK3CA/AKT/mTOR-related metabolites; and nucleus biomarkers include BRCA1, the glucocorticoid receptor, TP53, and Ki67. Candidate biomarkers were further organized into a “cellular protein network” that demonstrates potential connectivity. This review provides an inventory and reference point for promising biomarkers for breakthrough targeted therapies in TNBC.

Keywords: anti-cancer directed pharmacotherapy, difficult-to-treat breast cancer, biological markers

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