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To save lives through improving early
diagnosis, developing new treatments and
preventing all types of breast cancer

Breakthrough Breast Cancer

Breakthrough brings international focus to aggressive form of breast cancer

25/06/2013

Breakthrough Breast Cancer is bringing together an international panel of experts today to discuss how to combat a complex, aggressive and hard-to-treat subtype of breast cancer.

At the Breakthrough Triple Negative Breast Cancer Conference (26-28 June 2013), leading clinicians and scientists from around the world will come together to evaluate current practice, and propose ways to improve diagnosis, treatment, and outcomes for patients living with this type of the disease.

Breakthrough Breast Cancer’s Professor Andrew Tutt, who will lead the conference, said: “The complexity of triple negative breast cancer means that, while for some patients current treatments such as chemotherapy are successful, for many the clinical options are limited.

“By providing a dedicated forum for the world’s leading experts, this conference will set the agenda for future research into triple negative breast cancer and bring us closer to improved survival rates, and better outcomes for patients with this challenging disease.”

Triple negative breast cancers lack the receptors that enable some patients to respond well to targeted therapies such as Herceptin and hormone treatments such as tamoxifen. Furthermore, while they account for up to one in five of all breast cancers in the UK, there is great variation between individual cases of triple negative breast cancer. A number of new treatments are therefore needed to more effectively treat patients in the future, a challenge that will be a hot topic for delegates at the conference.

Dr Richard Francis, Breakthrough Breast Cancer’s Head of Research, said: “Given what we currently know about the complexity of triple negative breast cancer, the discussions at this conference could help lead the way we test drugs and conduct clinical trials for triple negative breast cancers.”

The disease is more common in younger women and black women, and is more likely than hormone positive cancers to recur in the first five years after treatment. As a result, survival rates over five years are only around half as good for triple negative breast cancer patients as they are for breast cancer overall.

To mark the launch of the conference, Breakthrough has produced a new infographic explaining the facts and figures behind triple negative breast cancer.

The conference aims to help Breakthrough further develop its work to improve the treatment of triple negative, and achieve its vision of a world freed from breast cancer.