Researchers close in on biomarkers for triple-negative breast cancer

A diagnosis of triple-negative breast cancer is as scary as it sounds because it is more aggressive and less responsive to standard treatment. The triple-negative name comes from its lack of response to therapies that target HER2, estrogen or progesterone receptors. However, as CancerNetwork reports, there are some predictive biomarkers on the horizon that might help improve chances for triple-negative patients.

At the American Society of Clinical Oncology Annual Meeting in Chicago on Saturday, Egyptian researcher Tarek Abdel-Fatah shared results of a study he led on the predictive power of the protein Bcl-2. Patients with an expression of the protein had a lower risk of triple-negative breast cancer, and those without had a higher risk, according to the research.

"It's very clear that Bcl-2 is a prognostic factor," Stephen Chia of the University of British Columbia told the group later, CancerNetwork reports. "But how we integrate that into clinical use is the next step."

Steven Isakoff of the Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston told CancerNetwork that progress is being made in finding new biomarkers for this deadly form of breast cancer. "There's a lot of reason to be optimistic."

- read the report on CancerNetwork