Triple-negative breast cancer (TNBC) is cancer that tested as negative for estrogen receptors (ER), progesterone receptors (PR), and excess human epidermal growth factor receptor 2 (HER2) protein which accounts for 15%-20% of all breast cancer cases. TNBC is considered to be a poorer prognosis than other types of breast cancer, mainly because it involves more aggressive phenotypes that are similar to stem cell-like cancer cells (cancer stem cell, CSC). Thus, targeted treatment of TNBC remains a major challenge in clinical practice. This review article surveys the latest evidence concerning the role of genomic alteration in current TNBC treatment responses, current clinical trials and potential targeting sites, CSC and drug resistance, and potential strategies targeting CSCs in TNBC. Furthermore, the role of insulin-like growth factor 1 receptor (IGF-1R) and nicotinic acetylcholine receptors (nAChR) in stemness expression, chemoresistance, and metastasis in TNBC and their relevance to potential treatments are also discussed and highlighted.
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