Triple-Negative Breast Cancer Comparison With Canine Mammary Tumors From Light Microscopy to Molecular Pathology

Asadoor Amirkhani Namagerdi, Danila d’Angelo, Francesca Ciani, Carmelina Antonella Iannuzzi, Francesco Napolitano, Luigi Avallone, Michelino De Laurentiis, Antonio Giordano

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


Many similar characteristics in human and dog cancers including, spontaneous development, clinical presentation, tumor heterogeneity, disease progression, and response to standard therapies have promoted the approval of this comparative model as an alternative to mice. Breast cancer represents the second most frequent neoplasm in humans after lung cancer. Triple-negative breast cancers (TNBC) constitute around 15% of all cases of breast cancer and do not express estrogen receptor (ER), progesterone receptor (PR), and do not overexpress human epidermal growth factor receptor 2 (HER2). As a result, they do not benefit from hormonal or trastuzumab-based therapy. Patients with TNBC have worse overall survival than patients with non-TNBC. Lehmann and collaborators described six different molecular subtypes of TNBC which further demonstrated its transcriptional heterogeneity. This six TNBC subtype classification has therapeutic implications. Breast cancer is the second most frequent neoplasm in sexually intact female dogs after skin cancer. Canine mammary tumors are a naturally occurring heterogeneous group of cancers that have several features in common with human breast cancer (HBC). These similarities include etiology, signaling pathway activation, and histological classification. Molecularly CMTs are more like TNBCs, and therefore dogs are powerful spontaneous models of cancer to test new therapeutic approaches, particularly for human TNBCs. More malignant tumors of the breast are more often ER and PR negative in both humans and dogs. Promising breast cancer biomarkers in both humans and canines are cancer-associated stroma (CAS), circulating tumor cells and tumor DNA (ctDNA), exosomes and miRNAs, and metabolites.

Original languageEnglish
Article number563779
JournalFrontiers in Oncology
Publication statusPublished - Nov 12 2020


  • canine mammary tumors
  • genetics and epigenetics
  • hormonal receptors
  • triple-negative breast cancers
  • tumor biomarkers

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Cancer Research


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