Triple-negative breast cancer (TNBC) is a subtype of breast cancer that disproportionally accounts for the majority of breast cancer-related deaths due to the lack of specific targets for effective treatments. In this review, we highlight the complexity of the transforming growth factor-beta family (TGF-β) pathway and discuss how the dysregulation of the TGF-β pathway promotes oncogenic attributes in TNBC, which negatively affects patient prognosis. Moreover, we discuss recent findings highlighting TGF-β inhibition as a potent method to target mesenchymal (CD44+/CD24-) and epithelial (ALDHhigh) cancer stem cell (CSC) populations. CSCs are associated with tumorigenesis, metastasis, relapse, resistance, and diminished patient prognosis; however, due to differential signal pathway enrichment and plasticity, these populations remain difficult to target and persist as a major barrier barring successful therapy. This review highlights the importance of TGF-β as a driver of chemoresistance, radioresistance and reduced patient prognosis in breast cancer and highlights novel treatment strategies which modulate TGF-β, impede cancer progression and reduce the rate of resistance generation via targeting the CSC populations in TNBC and thus reducing tumorigenicity. Potential TGF-β inhibitors targeting based on clinical trials are summarized for further investigation, which may lead to the development of novel therapies to improve TNBC patient prognosis.
TGF-β, cancer stem cell, triple-negative breast cancer
Sulaiman A, McGarry S, Chilumula S, Kandunuri R, Vinod V. Clinically Translatable Approaches of Inhibiting TGF-β to Target Cancer Stem Cells in TNBC. Biomedicines. 2021; 9(10). doi: 10.3390/biomedicines9101386.