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Targeted therapy for triple-negative breast cancer

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Targeted therapies, a type of systemic cancer treatment, work by targeting features called biomarkers that are needed for cancer cells to survive and grow. Until recently, chemotherapy was the only systemic treatment option for triple-negative breast cancer, and it continues to be the most effective treatment for many people. But new treatments have become available that target biomarkers found in some triple-negative breast cancers.

In this section, you’ll learn more about the different classes of targeted therapies for triple-negative breast cancer, the biomarkers that tell us who may benefit from them, and how they work.

Antibody Drug Conjugates

An antibody drug conjugate, or ADC, pairs a powerful chemotherapy medicine with a targeted therapy. The targeted therapy directs the medicine to the cancer cells, so the chemotherapy medicine can be delivered right inside them. This helps limit the side effects of the chemotherapy on healthy cells.

Several ADCs are under study for different types of breast cancer. There are two FDA approved antibody drug conjugates available for triple-negative metastatic breast cancer:

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Reviewed and updated: January 4, 2021

Reviewed by: Zanetta Lamar MD

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