Triple Negative Breast Cancer (TNBC)

Triple Negative Breast Cancer (TNBC) can be a frightening diagnosis!

A biopsy of the cancer tissue is used to diagnosis Triple Negative Breast Cancer.

This form of Breast Cancer tests negative for the estrogen and progesterone receptors and the cells do not overproduce the human epidermal growth factor receptor 2 (HER2) protein.  Therefore, since cancer growth is not fueled by estrogen or progesterone hormones or HER2 protein, TNBC does not respond to hormone therapy or medication that targets HER2 receptors.

The standard care for TNBC treatment involves surgical removal of the cancer, by removing the lump or the entire breast.  Chemotherapy is sometimes administered before surgery to reduce the tumor size.  Chemotherapy may also be given after surgery to limit recurrence.  Chemotherapy kills cancer cells in the body and decreases the chance of the cancer returning.  Radiation Therapy may be administered to kill any remaining cancer cells in the chest or surrounding lymph nodes.

New Hampshire Oncology-Hematology offers two clinical trials for TNBC.  These trials are “IMPASSION” AFT-27 and SWOG S1418.


This study is for patients who have newly diagnosed TNBC and have completed surgery and require chemotherapy after surgery.Eligible patients are randomized to receive the drug Atezolizumab and chemotherapy or chemotherapy alone.Atezolizumab is an immunotherapy that works by helping the immune system attack cancer cells.Researchers are comparing standard chemotherapy to standard chemotherapy + Atezolizumab.

  1. SWOG S1418

To participate in this trial patients must have TNBC, have had chemotherapy before surgery, and have >1cm cancer remaining in the breast and/or positive cancer cells in the lymph nodes after surgery. Participants are randomized to either observation or a drug called Pembrolizumab (every 3 weeks for 1 year).Pembrolizumab is an immunotherapy that works with the immune system to help fight cancer. Researchers are looking at the length of time after treatment that patients remain cancer free.