The landscape of systemic therapy for early stage triple-negative breast cancer

Jin Yu Lu, Alvaro Alvarez Soto, Jesus D. Anampa

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


Introduction: Triple-negative breast cancer (TNBC) is the most aggressive subtype of breast cancer with higher risk of disease recurrence and mortality than other breast cancer subtypes. Historically, chemotherapy has been the primary systemic treatment for early stage TNBC. Recent developments in immune checkpoint inhibitors (ICIs) and novel therapeutic agents have transformed the treatment of TNBC. Areas covered: This review provides a comprehensive overview of the current evidence on treatment of early stage TNBC. We highlight the incorporation of ICIs and other targeted therapies in (neo)adjuvant treatment and the ongoing development of novel therapeutic agents. Expert opinion: The landscape of early TNBC treatment is rapidly evolving, which has given rise to the introduction of ICIs and PARP inhibitors into the systemic therapy. Despite modest improvement in the pathologic complete response (pCR) rate, ICI plus chemotherapy significantly improves long-term outcomes and is now used in (neo)adjuvant treatment of patients with TNBC and high risk for disease recurrence. Capecitabine remains the standard adjuvant treatment for residual disease, with olaparib being an option for patients with germline BRCA1/2 mutations. Early detection of minimal residual disease may identify patients requiring additional therapy to prevent recurrence.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1291-1303
Number of pages13
JournalExpert Opinion on Pharmacotherapy
Issue number11
StatePublished - 2022


  • Triple-negative breast cancer
  • chemotherapy
  • immune checkpoint inhibitor
  • pathologic complete response
  • systemic adjuvant therapy
  • targeted therapy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pharmacology
  • Pharmacology (medical)


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