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Triple-negative breast cancer: new perspectives for targeted therapies

Authors Tomao F, Papa A, Zaccarelli E, Rossi L, Caruso D, Minozzi M, Vici P, Frati L, Tomao S, Ricci F

Received 14 May 2014

Accepted for publication 19 August 2014

Published 16 January 2015 Volume 2015:8 Pages 177—193

DOI https://doi.org/10.2147/OTT.S67673

Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single-blind

Peer reviewer comments 4

Editor who approved publication: Dr Faris Farassati


Federica Tomao,1 Anselmo Papa,2 Eleonora Zaccarelli,2 Luigi Rossi,2 Davide Caruso,2 Marina Minozzi,2 Patrizia Vici,3 Luigi Frati,4 Silverio Tomao2

1Department of Gynecology and Obstetrics, “Sapienza” University of Rome, Policlinico “Umberto I”, Rome, 2Department of Medico-Surgical Sciences and Biotechnologies, “Sapienza” University of Rome, Oncology Unit, Istituto Chirurgico Ortopedico Traumatologico, Latina, 3Division of Medical Oncology B, Regina Elena National Cancer Institute, Rome, Italy; 4Department of Molecular Medicine, “Sapienza” University of Rome, Policlinico “Umberto I”, Rome, Italy

Abstract: Breast cancer is a heterogeneous disease, encompassing a large number of entities showing different morphological features and having clinical behaviors. It has became apparent that this diversity may be justified by distinct patterns of genetic, epigenetic, and transcriptomic aberrations. The identification of gene-expression microarray-based characteristics has led to the identification of at least five breast cancer subgroups: luminal A, luminal B, normal breast-like, human epidermal growth factor receptor 2, and basal-like. Triple-negative breast cancer is a complex disease diagnosed by immunohistochemistry, and it is characterized by malignant cells not expressing estrogen receptors or progesterone receptors at all, and human epidermal growth factor receptor 2. Along with this knowledge, recent data show that triple-negative breast cancer has specific molecular features that could be possible targets for new biological targeted drugs. The aim of this article is to explore the use of new drugs in this particular setting, which is still associated with poor prognosis and high risk of distant recurrence and death.

Keywords: basal-like breast cancer, estrogen–progesterone receptors, gene-expression microarray, human epidermal growth factor receptor 2, chemotherapy, target therapy

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