An overview of the effective combination therapies for the treatment of breast cancer

Cristina Núñez, José Luis Capelo, Gilberto Igrejas, Amparo Alfonso, Luis M. Botana, Carlos Lodeiro

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

73 Citations (Scopus)


Breast cancer (BC) is generally classified based on the receptors overexpressed on the cell nucleus, which include hormone receptors such as progesterone (PR) and estrogen (ER), and HER2. Triple-negative breast cancer (TNBC) is a type of cancer that lacks any of these three types of receptor proteins (ER/PR/HER2). Tumor cells exhibit drug resistant phenotypes that decrease the efficacy of chemotherapeutic treatments. Generally, drug resistance has a genetic basis that is caused by an abnormal gene expression, nevertheless, there are several types of drug resistance: efflux pumps reducing the cellular concentration of the drug, alterations in membrane lipids that reduce cellular uptake, increased or altered drug targets, metabolic alteration of the drug, inhibition of apoptosis, repair of the damaged DNA, and alteration of the cell cycle checkpoints.The use of "combination therapy" is recognized as an efficient solution to treat human diseases, in particular, breast cancer. In this review, we give examples of different nanocarriers used to co-deliver multiple therapeutics (chemotherapeutic agent and nucleic acid) to drug-resistant tumor cells, and lastly, we give our recommendations for the future directions for the co-delivery treatments.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)34-50
Number of pages17
Publication statusPublished - 1 Aug 2016


  • Breast cancer cell
  • Combination therapy
  • Drug delivery
  • Gene therapy
  • Nanomedicine

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