Advances in the Management of Early-Stage Triple-Negative Breast Cancer

Author Department

Hematology/Oncology; Medicine

Document Type

Article, Peer-reviewed

Publication Date



Triple-negative breast cancer (TNBC) is a subtype of breast cancer with both inter- and intratumor heterogeneity, thought to result in a more aggressive course and worse outcomes. Neoadjuvant therapy (NAT) has become the preferred treatment modality of early-stage TNBC as it allows for the downstaging of tumors in the breast and axilla, monitoring early treatment response, and most importantly, provides important prognostic information that is essential to determining post-surgical therapies to improve outcomes. It focuses on combinations of systemic drugs to optimize pathologic complete response (pCR). Excellent response to NAT has allowed surgical de-escalation in ideal candidates. Further, treatment algorithms guide the systemic management of patients based on their pCR status following surgery. The expanding knowledge of molecular pathways, genomic sequencing, and the immunological profile of TNBC has led to the use of immune checkpoint inhibitors and targeted agents, including PARP inhibitors, further revolutionizing the therapeutic landscape of this clinical entity. However, subgroups most likely to benefit from these novel approaches in TNBC remain elusive and are being extensively studied. In this review, we describe current practices and promising therapeutic options on the horizon for TNBC, surgical advances, and future trends in molecular determinants of response to therapy in early-stage TNBC.

Keywords: PARP inhibitors; breast cancer; breast surgery; early-stage TNBC; immunotherapy; neoadjuvant chemotherapy; targeted therapy; triple-negative breast cancer.