What is triple negative breast cancer?

Triple negative breast cancer (TNBC) is a subtype of breast cancer, named because TNBC tumors test negative for estrogen receptors, progesterone receptors, and human epidermal growth factor receptor-2 (HER2). Many breast cells have hormone receptors—proteins that are turned on or off by specific hormones such as estrogen, progesterone, etc. Without the three most common receptors, TNBC cells grow and change without any input from those hormones, making them harder to treat.

Triple negative breast cancers are particularly aggressive and are often associated with worse outcomes, early relapse after standard chemotherapy, a high frequency of metastasis, and higher mortality rate compared to other breast cancer subtypes. TNBC is also more common in young women—those under the age of 40 diagnosed with breast cancer are nearly twice as likely to have TNBC than women aged 50-64.¹

To learn more about triple negative breast cancer, please visit:
[TNBC Foundation] and [Breastcancer.org.]

Black women & TNBC

36,260 Black women are expected to be diagnosed with breast cancer in 2022.

Approximately 7,615 (or 21%) of those women will be diagnosed with TNBC.²

Not only do Black women have a three times higher odds of being diagnosed with TNBC, they also have a higher incidence overall, which means that there are simply more Black TNBC patients than any other ethnicity or racial group.³

"If you participate in a clinical trial, you can possibly help us to gain knowledge about triple-negative and the survival rate for African American women. It could help to go towards finding positive outcomes instead of now, when you Google and only come up with the negatives… "— Stage 3A TNBC Blesstie

You can make a difference

Despite the severity of TNBC, only two specific drugs have been approved by the FDA to treat it—one of them is only approved for metastatic patients. TNBC is the only breast cancer subtype that does not have any drugs to prevent recurrence. Of the drugs that are available and FDA approved, none had clinical trial demographics that reflected the actual demographics of TNBC patients. Instead, most TNBC treatments are trialed on white women with early-stage breast cancer who, on average, are 55 years old.

A treatment that works for an older, earlier stage white patient may not work the same for our bodies. The truth is, we can’t know without more research and data. In order to test how drugs work on Black bodies and keep Black Blessties from dying at higher rates, we need more Black women in clinical trials, especially TNBC clinical trials.

When you consider enrolling in a clinical trial, you’re not only investing in the most cutting-edge treatments for yourself, but you also take the first step towards helping to develop better TNBC treatments for all Black women.

When we tri(al), we are counted. When we tri(al), we make a difference in triple negative breast cancer research.
1 https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/27583878/
2  American Cancer Society
3 https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/cam4.4158
4. 2019 Drug Trials Snapshots Summary Report. U.S. Food & Drug Administration.  https://www.fda.gov/media/135337/download.

TNBC Quick Facts
Black women are 3x more likely to be diagnosed with TNBC than white women.
TNBC is more common in young, Black women.
Most TNBC treatments are trialed on middle aged white women with early-stage breast cancer.