Affiliation: Biomedical Biotechnology Research Unit (BioBRU), Department of Biochemistry, Microbiology and Biotechnology, Rhodes University, P.O. Box 94, Grahamstown, 6140, South Africa.
Due to the high heterogeneity of breast cancers, numerous recent patents describe improved methods of detection and classification which promise better patient prognosis and treatment. In particular, there has been a shift towards more effective genetic screening to identify specific mutations associated with breast tumours, which may lead to “personalised medicine” with improved outcomes. Two challenging areas of breast cancer research involve the development of treatments for the highly aggressive triple negative breast cancer subtype as well as the chemotherapy-resistant cancer stem cell subpopulation. In addition, despite numerous recent advances in breast cancer treatment in woman, male breast cancer remains poorly understood and there are limited therapies available which are developed specifically for men. This review serves to report on important developments in the treatment of breast malignancies patented in the past two years as well as to highlight the current gaps in the field of breast cancer therapeutics and areas which require further study.