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Researchers From Around the World Gather to Discuss Triple Negative Breast Cancer
Date:12/13/2007

er the next several days," explained Eric P. Winer, M.D., director of the Breast Oncology Center at the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute and Komen's chief scientific advisor. "The focus on triple negative breast cancer is recent and there is very little known about its pathology and how treatment decisions should be made for these women."

Discussions at Tuesday's roundtable centered around the need to more accurately define and diagnose triple negative breast cancer, as well as the need to focus on the epidemiology and risk factors for this subset of the disease.

Participants also discussed recent clinical trials that demonstrated that some women with this type of the disease may be benefiting more from standard chemotherapy than the broader group of patients and also discussed the need for future trials to look at which drugs produce more benefit for these patients and potentially which drugs may not help them at all. These results could lead to wider use of existing therapies for these women and could spare others from standard treatment that has not been shown to benefit them.

The group also engaged in discussions about clinical trial design and how newer targeted therapies will need to show specifically how, and if, women with "triple negative" tumors benefit. As this subtype of disease disproportionately affects African American women and is also being diagnosed in younger Hispanic women, new trials will need criteria to ensure that these populations are represented in future "triple negative" research. The role that patient advocacy groups, such as TNBC and Komen, will need to play in educating patients about the existence of "triple negative" breast cancer and the importance of participating in clinical research to identify more effective treatments for it was another topic of discussion.

The goal of the meeting was to create the first comprehensive publication and white-paper summarizing the "state of the science" with input and autho
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SOURCE Susan G. Komen for the Cure
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