Identification and use of biomarkers in treatment strategies for triple-negative breast cancer subtypes

J Pathol. 2014 Jan;232(2):142-50. doi: 10.1002/path.4280.


Triple-negative breast cancer (TNBC) is a heterogeneous disease with distinct molecular subtypes that respond differentially to chemotherapy and targeted agents. The absence of high-frequency molecular alterations and a limited number of known biomarkers have limited the development of therapeutic strategies for the disease. Herein, we summarize the results of the first round of targeted therapy approaches in TNBC and discuss new preclinical strategies. Common themes emerge from the proposed strategies, such as the use of biomarkers to identify tumours with genomic instability, targeting adapted molecular states resulting from tumour suppressor loss, and targeting altered metabolic pathways.

Keywords: AR; EGFR; FGFR; INPP4B; LDHB; PHGDH; PIK3CA; PTEN; TNBCtype; TP53; VEGFR; WEE1; basal-like; genomic instability; subtypes; therapy; triple-negative breast cancer.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Antineoplastic Agents / therapeutic use*
  • Biomarkers, Tumor / analysis*
  • Biomarkers, Tumor / genetics
  • Drug Discovery*
  • Female
  • Genetic Predisposition to Disease
  • Humans
  • Molecular Targeted Therapy
  • Patient Selection
  • Phenotype
  • Precision Medicine
  • Signal Transduction / drug effects
  • Triple Negative Breast Neoplasms / chemistry
  • Triple Negative Breast Neoplasms / classification
  • Triple Negative Breast Neoplasms / drug therapy*
  • Triple Negative Breast Neoplasms / genetics
  • Triple Negative Breast Neoplasms / pathology


  • Antineoplastic Agents
  • Biomarkers, Tumor