Subtyping of triple-negative breast cancer: implications for therapy

Cancer. 2015 Jan 1;121(1):8-16. doi: 10.1002/cncr.28914. Epub 2014 Jul 16.


Triple-negative breast cancer (TNBC) is a heterogeneous disease; gene expression analyses recently identified 6 distinct TNBC subtypes, each of which displays a unique biology. Exploring novel approaches for the treatment of these subtypes is critical, especially because the median survival for women with metastatic TNBC is less than 12 months, and virtually all women with metastatic TNBC ultimately will die of their disease despite systemic therapy. To date, not a single targeted therapy has been approved for the treatment of TNBC, and cytotoxic chemotherapy remains the standard treatment. In this review, the authors discuss recent developments in subtyping TNBC and the current and upcoming therapeutic strategies being explored in an attempt to target TNBC.

Keywords: clinical trials; subtyping triple-negative breast cancer; targeted therapies; triple-negative breast cancer.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Antineoplastic Agents / therapeutic use*
  • Clinical Trials as Topic
  • Female
  • Gene Expression Regulation, Neoplastic
  • Humans
  • Molecular Targeted Therapy
  • Triple Negative Breast Neoplasms / drug therapy*
  • Triple Negative Breast Neoplasms / genetics
  • Triple Negative Breast Neoplasms / pathology*


  • Antineoplastic Agents