Arizona Oncology - The US Oncology Network

Disease and Drug Information

Breast Cancer Clinical Research

Because not all types of breast cancer are the same, Arizona Oncology’s cancer specialists are dedicated to finding treatment options for different types of breast cancer – for your type of cancer.

If you’re diagnosed with triple negative breast cancer, Arizona Oncology is leading the way to finding a new triple negative breast cancer treatment option through a clinical trial that is now available. For hope in a new treatment option. Hope in renewed life.

Breast Cancer Hormone Receptors

It’s important to understand a bit about the three hormone receptors involved with many breast cancers and what current treatments target:

  1. Estrogen receptors
  2. Progesterone receptors
  3. HER2 receptors

All three forms of receptors are located on the surface of a breast cancer tumor cell. When estrogen binds to an estrogen receptor, breast cancer can grow and spread. Similarly, when progesterone binds to a progesterone receptor, breast cancer may grow and spread.

In about a quarter of breast cancers, a HER2 receptor (human epidermal growth factor receptor 2), also located on the external surface of the tumor cell, can result in breast cancer when the receptor region is overexpressed on a tumor cell and sends a strong signal to the nucleus inside the tumor to grow and spread to distant areas of the body (metastasize).

Treatments exist now for all three forms of hormone receptor-related breast cancer. But because no hormone receptors are involved with triple negative breast cancer, treatment is more challenging.

What is triple negative breast cancer?

The oncologist will find out which receptors are active to choose the breast cancer treatment that he/she feels will work best for your cancer. The treatment options may target one, two, or all three known hormone receptors. However, as implied by its name, “triple negative” breast cancer neither involves nor responds to any treatments targeting the three receptors. Because of this, triple negative breast cancer is considered to be particularly aggressive.

Since people diagnosed with triple negative breast cancer don’t typically respond as well to the approved treatments that involve the three receptors, we seek a new approach. This potential option is a clinical trial with the hope of a new, successful targeted treatment designed specifically for triple negative breast cancer. Arizona Oncology’s passion for finding an effective treatment transforms into the potential of hope for patients.

Breast cancer research trial – why?

Because an optimal standard treatment is not available for those with triple negative breast cancer Arizona Oncology initiated this clinical research trial through its affiliation with the US Oncology Network.

To bring a new treatment to market, certain requirements must be met for FDA (Federal Drug Administration) approval to show that the treatment is effective and safe, and how much is advisable (dosing). Research is key.

At the point of patient involvement in a clinical trial, the treatment is considered safe for humans and is carefully administered to real people with the type of cancer being tested. Patients on the clinical trial are monitored very carefully throughout the treatment and afterwards. If the new treatment passes through all phases of clinical research with approved FDA results, then it’s eligible to become a widely-used treatment that would be generally available for cancer doctors to offer patients.

Is the triple negative breast cancer clinical trial for me?

You will meet with a clinical research nurse at one of the Arizona Oncology locations to review the trial’s selection criteria, which include but may not be limited to:

  • A tumor that is any size with no axillary lymph nodes involvement;
  • No metastatic disease (cancer has not spread elsewhere);
  • No previous treatments;
  • Good cardiac function.

It is our hope that the clinical trial results will make a helpful impact and then ultimately provide an FDA-approved treatment option for this specific form of breast cancer.

This breast cancer clinical trial is available at select Arizona Oncology locations including Sedona and Prescott Valley, the Phoenix area, including Scottsdale, Glendale, Deer Valley, and Chandler, and in southern Arizona including Tucson.

For more information on participating in this trial or you would like to learn more about our other clinical trials,  please ask your oncologist. A complete list of all of the trials available through Arizona Oncology can be seen at: https://www.usoncology.com/clinical-trials.

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