How many diseases is triple negative breast cancer; the protagonism of the immune microenvironment

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Abstract

Triple negative breast cancer (TNBC) is a type of breast cancer (BC) that does not express the oestrogen and the progesterone receptors and the human epidermal growth factor receptor type 2 (HER2). Since there are no positive markers to reliably classify TNBC, these tumours are not yet treated with targeted therapies. Perhaps for this reason they are the most aggressive form of breast carcinomas. However, the clinical observation that these patients do not carry a uniformly dismal prognosis, coupled with data coming from pathology and epidemiology, suggests that this negative definition is not capturing a single clinical entity, but several. We critically evaluate this evidence in this paper, reviewing clinical and epidemiological data and new studies that aim to subclassify TNBC. Moreover, evidence on the role of tumour infiltrating lymphocytes (TILs) on TNBC progression, response to chemotherapy and patient outcome have been published. The heterogeneity, observed even at TILs level, highlights the idea that TNBC is much more than a single disease with a unique treatment. The exploration of the immune environment present at the tumour site could indeed help in answering the question 'How many diseases is TNBC' and will help to define prognosis and eventually develop new therapies, by stimulating the immune effector cells or by inhibiting immunological repressor molecules. In this review, we focus on the prospect of the patient's diverse immune signatures within the tumour as potential biomarkers and how they could be modulated to fight the disease.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)e000208
JournalESMO Open
Volume2
Issue number4
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 14 Sep 2017

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Triple Negative Breast Neoplasms
Tumor-Infiltrating Lymphocytes
Breast Neoplasms
Repressor Proteins
Progesterone Receptors
Estrogen Receptors
Neoplasms
Epidemiology
Therapeutics
Biomarkers
Pathology
Drug Therapy

Keywords

  • tumour infiltrating lymphocytes
  • gene expression profile
  • heterogeneity
  • Triple negative breast cancer

Cite this

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title = "How many diseases is triple negative breast cancer; the protagonism of the immune microenvironment",
abstract = "Triple negative breast cancer (TNBC) is a type of breast cancer (BC) that does not express the oestrogen and the progesterone receptors and the human epidermal growth factor receptor type 2 (HER2). Since there are no positive markers to reliably classify TNBC, these tumours are not yet treated with targeted therapies. Perhaps for this reason they are the most aggressive form of breast carcinomas. However, the clinical observation that these patients do not carry a uniformly dismal prognosis, coupled with data coming from pathology and epidemiology, suggests that this negative definition is not capturing a single clinical entity, but several. We critically evaluate this evidence in this paper, reviewing clinical and epidemiological data and new studies that aim to subclassify TNBC. Moreover, evidence on the role of tumour infiltrating lymphocytes (TILs) on TNBC progression, response to chemotherapy and patient outcome have been published. The heterogeneity, observed even at TILs level, highlights the idea that TNBC is much more than a single disease with a unique treatment. The exploration of the immune environment present at the tumour site could indeed help in answering the question 'How many diseases is TNBC' and will help to define prognosis and eventually develop new therapies, by stimulating the immune effector cells or by inhibiting immunological repressor molecules. In this review, we focus on the prospect of the patient's diverse immune signatures within the tumour as potential biomarkers and how they could be modulated to fight the disease.",
keywords = "tumour infiltrating lymphocytes, gene expression profile, heterogeneity, Triple negative breast cancer",
author = "Saraiva, {Diana P} and {Guadalupe Cabral}, M and Ant{\'o}nio Jacinto and Sofia Braga",
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T1 - How many diseases is triple negative breast cancer; the protagonism of the immune microenvironment

AU - Saraiva, Diana P

AU - Guadalupe Cabral, M

AU - Jacinto, António

AU - Braga, Sofia

PY - 2017/9/14

Y1 - 2017/9/14

N2 - Triple negative breast cancer (TNBC) is a type of breast cancer (BC) that does not express the oestrogen and the progesterone receptors and the human epidermal growth factor receptor type 2 (HER2). Since there are no positive markers to reliably classify TNBC, these tumours are not yet treated with targeted therapies. Perhaps for this reason they are the most aggressive form of breast carcinomas. However, the clinical observation that these patients do not carry a uniformly dismal prognosis, coupled with data coming from pathology and epidemiology, suggests that this negative definition is not capturing a single clinical entity, but several. We critically evaluate this evidence in this paper, reviewing clinical and epidemiological data and new studies that aim to subclassify TNBC. Moreover, evidence on the role of tumour infiltrating lymphocytes (TILs) on TNBC progression, response to chemotherapy and patient outcome have been published. The heterogeneity, observed even at TILs level, highlights the idea that TNBC is much more than a single disease with a unique treatment. The exploration of the immune environment present at the tumour site could indeed help in answering the question 'How many diseases is TNBC' and will help to define prognosis and eventually develop new therapies, by stimulating the immune effector cells or by inhibiting immunological repressor molecules. In this review, we focus on the prospect of the patient's diverse immune signatures within the tumour as potential biomarkers and how they could be modulated to fight the disease.

AB - Triple negative breast cancer (TNBC) is a type of breast cancer (BC) that does not express the oestrogen and the progesterone receptors and the human epidermal growth factor receptor type 2 (HER2). Since there are no positive markers to reliably classify TNBC, these tumours are not yet treated with targeted therapies. Perhaps for this reason they are the most aggressive form of breast carcinomas. However, the clinical observation that these patients do not carry a uniformly dismal prognosis, coupled with data coming from pathology and epidemiology, suggests that this negative definition is not capturing a single clinical entity, but several. We critically evaluate this evidence in this paper, reviewing clinical and epidemiological data and new studies that aim to subclassify TNBC. Moreover, evidence on the role of tumour infiltrating lymphocytes (TILs) on TNBC progression, response to chemotherapy and patient outcome have been published. The heterogeneity, observed even at TILs level, highlights the idea that TNBC is much more than a single disease with a unique treatment. The exploration of the immune environment present at the tumour site could indeed help in answering the question 'How many diseases is TNBC' and will help to define prognosis and eventually develop new therapies, by stimulating the immune effector cells or by inhibiting immunological repressor molecules. In this review, we focus on the prospect of the patient's diverse immune signatures within the tumour as potential biomarkers and how they could be modulated to fight the disease.

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KW - gene expression profile

KW - heterogeneity

KW - Triple negative breast cancer

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M3 - Review article

VL - 2

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JF - ESMO Open

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