Table of Contents
Chemotherapy Research and Practice
Volume 2011, Article ID 696208, 13 pages
Review Article

Triple-Negative Breast Cancer: Adjuvant Therapeutic Options

1Breast Cancer Medicine Service, Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center (MSKCC), New York, NY 10065, USA
2Weill Medical College of Cornell University, New York, NY 10065, USA

Received 13 November 2010; Accepted 14 April 2011

Academic Editor: J. B. Vermorken

Copyright © 2011 Ayca Gucalp and Tiffany A. Traina. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Triple-negative breast cancer (TNBC), a subtype distinguished by negative immunohistochemical assays for expression of the estrogen and progesterone receptors (ER/PR) and human epidermal growth factor receptor-2(HER2) represents 15% of all breast cancers. Patients with TNBC generally experience a more aggressive clinical course with increased risk of disease progression and poorer overall survival. Furthermore, this subtype accounts for a disproportionate number of disease-related mortality in part due to its aggressive natural history and our lack of effective targeted agents beyond conventional cytotoxic chemotherapy. In this paper, we will review the epidemiology, risk factors, prognosis, and the molecular and clinicopathologic features that distinguish TNBC from other subtypes of breast cancer. In addition, we will examine the available data for the use of cytotoxic chemotherapy in the treatment of TNBC in both the neoadjuvant and adjuvant setting and explore the ongoing development of newer targeted agents.