Several Genetic Changes Identified in
Triple-Negative Breast Cancer
Date of presentation: December 6, 2012
Triple-negative breast cancers contain several different genetic changes, some of which may be possible to target with drugs. These results were presented at the 2012 San Antonio Breast Cancer Symposium.
After neoadjuvant chemotherapy, roughly 70% of women with triple-negative breast cancer will have some remaining cancer. Evaluation of the characteristics of the remaining cancer could provide clues to more effective treatments.
Cancers are often found to contain a wide array of genetic changes that contribute to cancer growth. Developing drugs to target these changes is an important focus of cancer research.
To explore the genetic changes that are present in triple-negative breast cancer, researchers evaluated tumor tissue from 114 women with triple-negative breast cancer. All of the women had some remaining cancer after neoadjuvant chemotherapy.
Many different genetic changes were identified, and the types of changes varied across women. This highlights the complexity of triple-negative breast cancer. Nevertheless, some of the genetic changes that were identified may be possible to target with drugs that are already being researched for other types of cancer, and other genetic changes may prompt research into entirely new types of drugs.
The next step, according to one of the researchers involved with the study, will be to confirm these findings in a larger group of women with triple-negative breast cancer.
This type of research may point the way toward more individualized and more effective treatment for triple-negative breast cancer.
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