Sandra M. Swain, MD, FACP, Medical Director, Washington Cancer Institute, MedStar Washington Hospital Center, Washington, DC, who moderated the session, said these interesting observations must now be validated in preclinical models of triple-negative tumors, and then tested in patients. “Residual disease after aggressive neoadjuvant therapy is a challenging problem,” she said, “especially in triple-negative patients, for whom we have limited effective options.”
Lisa Carey, MD, Preyer Distinguished Professor in Breast Cancer Research at the University of North Carolina School of Medicine, Chapel Hill, commented as well. “More and more, we are collecting serum and tumor markers in our clinical trials, trying to get a handle on ways to be smarter and more rational with treatment. Triple-negative breast cancer is where we really need a genome-forward approach. The alignment of tissue-based markers and clinical trials will be the key to our success.” ■
Disclosure: Drs. Swain and Carey reported no potential conflicts of interest.
Five key biologic pathways have become evident in triple-negative breast cancer tumors, and these pathways may be targetable with agents that are currently available or in development, results from an international genetic analysis revealed at the 2012 San Antonio Breast Cancer Symposium.