Global Cancer Navigation Services - Advocacy for Minimally Invasive Targeted Treatments
Triple Negative Breast Cancer – Why a Second Opinion is Crucial…
As with any cancer diagnosis – it is important to understand the nature of your cancer; this is fundamental to making treatment choices & your long-term survival:
Triple negative breast cancers (TNBCs) are a specific subtype of epithelial breast tumours. They are usually diagnosed by biopsy or from tissue removed during surgery; such as lumpectomy or mastectomy.
The following is Information your doctor or hospital is unlikely to tell you
ER, PR & HER2 – (the 3 negatives): How is TNBC diagnosed?
TNBC’s test negative for the protein expression of oestrogen receptor (ER), progesterone receptor (PR) & lack gene amplification of HER2 (human epidermal growth factor receptor 2)
HER2 is a gene that can play a role in the development of breast cancer. Approximately, 10–14% of breast cancers diagnosed are triple negative.
When TNBC cells have spread i.e. are in circulation or moved out of breast tissue into organs (called metastatic TNBC), biopsies from new locations (other than from the original biopsy) should be tested for triple negative breast cancer cells.
This can be important especially if you have been intensively treated with chemotherapies or other agents because cancers are chameleon in nature – they can change their colours in response to past treatments. In other words – they may have morphed & changed behaviour. (this stage can be termed chemo-resistant).
Why genomic diagnostics are essential for those wanting to look outside the standard of care for targeted TNBC treatment
Genomic diagnostics provide you and your treating practitioners with a unique genetic fingerprint of your cancer type; thus influencing your treatment choices.
TNBC can be challenging to treat by conventional means; therefore in my opinion; a personalised cancer medicine approach is essential. The earlier in your treatment a personalised approach is adopted – the greater the benefit to you!
Because TNBC harbours substantial genetic variations along with 6 subtypes; fine tuning your diagnostics utilising the latest genomic technology is MOST beneficial.
TNBC subtypes have been reported to differ in drug sensitivity & require different therapeutic approaches based on their different characteristics
TNBC & basal-like breast cancer are closely associated with hereditary breast & ovarian cancer syndrome caused by germline mutations in the BRCA1/2. Both are involved in double-stranded DNA damage repair & play an essential role in DNA integrity.
Genomic diagnostic tests can predict if you will respond to Drug based immunotherapies (called anti PD1, PDL2) RISKS CLICK HERE:
Radiation Sensitivity Assay: Avoid the long term effects of radiation induced fibrosis (RIF). Genomic testing can determine if you have a gene variation that increases your risk of RIF.
A Pharmacogenomics test covers over 60 common oncology drugs & may assist with determining the optimal drug dose for oncology drugs & targeted therapies & risk of adverse reactions. This will help your healthcare provider choose the most beneficial treatments for you.
After years referring patients to the USA for genomic tests we can now refer patients a highly accredited Australian laboratory.
Choosing a Laboratory for Genomic Diagnostic Tests:
Just like people and cancers are not all the same, neither are genomic diagnostic centres. Small private laboratories who are registered with pathology bodies within Australia / NZ are the best option. You need a pathologist with high level qualifications and a specialisation in Genomic reporting. To follow up your report you also need an oncologist who can interpret the tests for you and thereby work out the best clinically actionable targeted drugs for your cancer type.
I can suggest a reputable genomics testing lab during a video consultation and an oncologist who can interpret the tests for you.
Monitoring ongoing treatment utilising genomic diagnostics:
ctDNA (or Liquid biopsy) can be tracked over time to monitor your response to treatment and the development of resistance to treatment. This testing can also be used to check for residual cancer following treatment and can reflect tumour size and burden more accurately than other diagnostic techniques.
This is why genomic testing is essential.
Be informed! learn more about the importance of liquid biopsies: https://stm.sciencemag.org/content/11/507/eaay1984