The q25.3 region of chromosome 17 may be another genetic marker that defines subtypes of triple-negative breast cancer and, therefore, could lead to the golden grail: targeted treatment, especially for those forms of TNBC linked to the BRCA1 mutation. In research published in the journal Breast Cancer Research, 17q25.3 was detected in 86 percent of the mutated TNBC tumors.
This is significant because, as the researchers note, the BRCA1 mutation is closely linked to TNBC, with as many as 90 percent of tumors with the mutation being triple negative. This does not mean, however, that all TNBC tumors have the BRCA1 mutation. In fact, only 10 to 20 percent of all TNBC tumors have the BRCA1 mutation. I explain this link in my book on TNBC.
Identifying patients with the BRCA1 mutation will ultimately help select patients who could benefit from selective treatments 17q25.3. First, though, we need those treatments. Baby steps, friends. But at least they are steps.
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For more details on triple-negative breast cancer, check out my book, Surviving Triple-Negative Breast Cancer.