Recurrence occurs in around 30% of patients with triple-negative (estrogen, progesterone and Her2 receptor-negative) breast cancer (TNBC) within 3 years of treatment. Patient follow-up is currently based on the observation of symptoms suspicious of recurrence. If this is the case, imaging tests are carried out and new treatments are prescribed if metastases are detected. Unfortunately, recurrence is often already well advanced and post-recurrence survival is short. A program of periodic follow-up imaging before the onset of symptoms would be desirable, as recurrence could then be detected at an early stage and appropriate treatment could lead to an improved prognosis. However, implementing such a follow-up program for all TNBC patients would require significant resources, while creating unnecessary stress in those at low risk of recurrence.
Our team is developing an inexpensive, rapid and easily accessible predictive test that would be used to identify TNBC patients at high risk of recurrence. This test will be validated by close follow-up of the patients recruited. Identifying high-risk patients will improve their management and the application of appropriate treatments. Further clinical studies will determine which treatment will be most beneficial in eliminating these early metastases.