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Molecular subtypes of triple-negative breast cancer: understanding of subtype categories and clinical implication

Abstract

Background

Triple-negative breast cancer (TNBC) is a heterogeneous entity that encompasses several subtypes with distinct molecular characteristics. The patients with TNBCs show unpredictable response to the chemotherapy, and further there is the lack of effective agents. Thus, many studies have been underway to discover targeted therapy suitable for patients with specific genetic alterations in each molecular subtypes. TNBCs are classified as four major molecular subtypes according to the gene expression patterns. These are luminal androgen receptor (LAR), mesenchymal-like, immunomodulatory (IM), and basal-like types.

Conclusion

Here, we discuss the unique molecular features of each subtype as well as promising targets for anti-cancer therapy.

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Acknowledgements

This research was supported by Basic Science Research Capacity Enhancement Project through Korea Basic Science Institute (National research Facilities and Equipment Center) grant funded by the Ministry of Education (Grant No. 2019R1A6C1010033). The present research was supported by the research fund of Dankook university in 2019 for the University Innovation Support Program.

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Correspondence to Kyudong Han or Song-Yi Choi.

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Lee, YM., Oh, M.H., Go, JH. et al. Molecular subtypes of triple-negative breast cancer: understanding of subtype categories and clinical implication. Genes Genom 42, 1381–1387 (2020). https://doi.org/10.1007/s13258-020-01014-7

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Keywords

  • Triple negative breast cancer
  • Breast cancer
  • Molecular diagnosis
  • Precision medicine