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Posted by on Feb 24, 2013 in Breast cancer | 0 comments

This paper reviews chemotherapy options for triple-negative breast cancers.

Breast cancer cells express 3 main receptors that can be targeted with therapy: Estrogen receptors (ER), Progesterone receptors (PR) and HER2. Triple-negative breast cancers (TNBCs) do not express these 3 receptors and make up approximately 15% of breast cancers. Such tumors do not respond to hormone or anti-HER2 therapy but generally respond well to chemotherapy. Prognosis is unfortunately worse in TNBC.

Chemotherapy is a systemic (body wide) treatment often given to patients with breast cancer. It is usually administered after surgery (called ‘adjuvant’ chemotherapy).

This paper discusses three chemotherapy strategies for TNBC:

Cyclophosphamide, Methotrexate and Fluoroucil (CMF).  This treatment can be given before or after surgery, usually to patients whose cancer is present in both the breast and lymph nodes. CMF has been associated with improved survival in TNBC.

Anthracyclines, including drugs such as Doxorubicin and Epirubicin. These work well when used before surgery but their effectiveness as adjuvant treatment is unclear. When used in combination with CMF, anthracyclines can extend the time a patient is disease free.

Taxanes, including drugs such as Paclitaxel and Docetaxel. A combination regimen using Docetaxel, Doxorubicin and Cyclophosphamide was shown to be more effective and give patients a longer disease free survival than a combination based on anthracyclines.

Chemotherapy regimens such as the standard CMF and those including taxanes or anthracyclines are reasonable choices when treating TNBC. Further treatments are currently being investigated in other studies.

Published By :

Annals of oncology

Date :

Aug 01, 2012

Original Title :

Adjuvant treatments for triple-negative breast cancers

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