Beyond its most basic definition—negative for receptors for estrogen, progesterone and Her2/neu—triple-negative breast cancer has unique genetic characteristics.  Research published April 1, 2013 in the journal Cancer Research has outlined some of TNBC’s genetic associations.  Researchers keep getting closer to finding what makes TNBC tick.  Once they know that, they can target it.  Put a big red bull’s eye on its nasty old back. 

Some details of the research:

• TNBC is more likely to be associated with TOX3, ESR1, RAD51L1, TERT, 19p13.1, 20q11, MDM4, 2p24.1, and FTO.

70 percent of those with the BRCA1 mutation who get breast cancer get TNBC.

• 16  to 23 percent of those with the BRCA2 mutation who get breast cancer get TNBC.

• Variations in the 19p13.1 locus and the MDM4 locus have been associated with TNBC, but not other forms of breast cancer, meaning that these are TNBC-specific.

• TNBC accounts for 12 to 24 percent of all breast cancers.

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