Metastatic and triple-negative breast cancer: challenges and treatment options

Drug Deliv Transl Res. 2018 Oct;8(5):1483-1507. doi: 10.1007/s13346-018-0551-3.


The major current conventional types of metastatic breast cancer (MBC) treatments include surgery, radiation, hormonal therapy, chemotherapy, or immunotherapy. Introducing biological drugs, targeted treatment and gene therapy can potentially reduce the mortality and improve the quality of life in patients with MBC. However, combination of several types of treatment is usually recommended. Triple negative breast cancer (TNBC) accounts for 10-20% of all cases of breast carcinoma and is characterized by the low expression of progesterone receptor (PR), estrogen receptor (ER), and human epidermal growth factor receptor 2 (HER2). Consequently, convenient treatments used for MBC that target these receptors are not effective for TNBC which therefore requires special treatment approaches. This review discusses the occurrence of MBC, the prognosis and predictive biomarkers of MBC, and focuses on the novel advanced tactics for treatment of MBC and TNBC. Nanotechnology-based combinatorial approach for the suppression of EGFR by siRNA and gifitinib is described.

Keywords: Combinatorial treatment of breast cancer; EGFR; Gefitinib; Liposomes; siRNA.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Biomarkers, Tumor / metabolism*
  • Clinical Trials as Topic
  • Combined Modality Therapy / methods*
  • ErbB Receptors / antagonists & inhibitors
  • Female
  • Gefitinib / therapeutic use
  • Genetic Therapy
  • Humans
  • Neoplasm Metastasis
  • Prognosis
  • RNA, Small Interfering / administration & dosage
  • Triple Negative Breast Neoplasms / metabolism
  • Triple Negative Breast Neoplasms / therapy*


  • Biomarkers, Tumor
  • RNA, Small Interfering
  • EGFR protein, human
  • ErbB Receptors
  • Gefitinib