Targeted Therapies for Triple-Negative Breast Cancer: Combating a Stubborn Disease

Trends Pharmacol Sci. 2015 Dec;36(12):822-846. doi: 10.1016/ Epub 2015 Nov 1.


Triple-negative breast cancers (TNBCs) constitute a heterogeneous subtype of breast cancers that have a poor clinical outcome. Although no approved targeted therapy is available for TNBCs, molecular-profiling efforts have revealed promising molecular targets, with several candidate compounds having now entered clinical trials for TNBC patients. However, initial results remain modest, thereby highlighting challenges potentially involving intra- and intertumoral heterogeneity and acquisition of therapy resistance. We present a comprehensive review on emerging targeted therapies for treating TNBCs, including the promising approach of immunotherapy and the prognostic value of tumor-infiltrating lymphocytes. We discuss the impact of pathway rewiring in the acquisition of drug resistance, and the prospect of employing combination therapy strategies to overcome challenges towards identifying clinically-viable targeted treatment options for TNBC.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Molecular Targeted Therapy
  • Triple Negative Breast Neoplasms / drug therapy*
  • Triple Negative Breast Neoplasms / genetics
  • Triple Negative Breast Neoplasms / pathology