When found, breast cancer is tested for three primary cell surface receptors to identify treatment options. Those are the estrogen receptor (ER), progesterone receptor (PR) and human epidermal growth factor receptor 2 (HER2). TNBC tests negative for all three (or limited for HER2 receptors), eliminating many available treatment options.


TNBC cells can break away from the original tumor in the breast and travel to other parts of the body, most often the bones, lungs, brain or liver. When this happens, it’s known as metastatic TNBC. Once the cancer has spread through the body, complete removal is unlikely. However, while this means the cancer may not go away completely, treatment can help.

About 9-11% of all breast cancer cases are triple-negative1
50 years and Under – TNBC is most common in premenopausal women under 50 years2
African origin – TNBC is more common in patients of African origin.2
BRCA mutation - TNBC affects more patients with a BRCA mutations than other types of breast cancer2
TNBC has a higher chance of recurring than other types of breast cancer3
~2.6 years – average time for metastatic recurrence in TNBC versus ~5 years for other breast cancers
Metastatic TNBC has a relative five-year survival rate of 12%4
  1. Belgian Cancer Registry, facts and figures for 2019.
  2. Sharma P. Biology and Management of patients with triple-Negative Breast Cancer. Oncologist. 2016;21(9):1050-62
  3. Linda Lindstrom et al. Clinically used breast cancer markers such as estrogen receptor, progesterone receptor, and human epidermal growth factor 2 are unstable throughout tumor progression. J of Clin Oncol 2012;30(21):2601-8.
  4. Seah DSE et al. Use and Duration of Chemotherapy in patients with metastatic breast cancer according to tumor subtype and line of therapy. J Natl Compr Canc Netw. 2014;12(1):71-80.

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