Advances for triple-negative breast cancer, preventing recurrence?


Question from KathyW: Are there any advances for triple-negative breast cancer, and what can we do to prevent a recurrence?
Answers - Kathy D. Miller, M.D. The good news for women with triple-negative disease is that they are the group that gets the biggest improvement in prognosis with chemotherapy in the adjuvant setting, but we know many of those women still have a high risk of recurrence. The most exciting development in the treatment of women with triple-negative disease in the past year has been the development of a new class of drugs called the PARP inhibitors. Those drugs take advantage of an inherent defect in repairing damage that is unique to the cancer cells, so they have had much less toxicity to normal tissues and in combination with chemotherapy in the metastatic setting, they made the chemotherapy much more effective. As you would expect, we are very excited about the potential of the PARP inhibitors as part of the early treatment of women with newly diagnosed triple-negative disease, but in that setting the potential side effects become even more important. So there are plans for a pilot study in the adjuvant setting specifically to look at the safety of that approach. That first step should start enrolling patients within the next 6 months.

On Tuesday, December 15, 2009, our Ask-the-Expert Online Conference was called Updates from the 2009 San Antonio Breast Cancer Symposium. Kathy Miller, M.D. and Kristin Brill, M.D., F.A.C.S. answered your questions about the latest updates on breast cancer risk, screening techniques, treatment options, and more.

The materials presented in these conferences do not necessarily reflect the views of Breastcancer.org. A qualified healthcare professional should be consulted before using any therapeutic product or regimen discussed. All readers should verify all information and data before employing any therapies described here.

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