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Oncology | GileadPro



Discover some facts and figures about breast cancer in Switzerland and learn about Gilead's focus on advancing the public policy dialogue on breast cancer.

Breast cancer is a genetically and clinically heterogeneous disease with multiple subtypes. The most common and widely accepted classification of breast cancer is from an immunohistochemical perspective, based on the expression of the following hormone receptors (HR): estrogen (ER), progesterone (PR) and on the expression of the human epidermal growth factor (HER2).

The three different BC subtypes include:

Triple-negative breast cancer (TNBC): HR-negative and HER2-negative (HER2-low and HER2-zero)

TNBC accounts for approximately 15% of all breast cancers and is diagnosed more often in young and premenopausal women.

TNBC is considered particularly aggressive: approximately 40% of patients develop metastases (metastatic TNBC, mTNBC) after initial treatment. The long-term survival rate for mTNBC patients is low. Amongst the factors to which this poor prognosis is attributable is the fact that the targeted therapies which are helpful against other types of breast cancer are ineffective in TNBC. Although TNBC and mTNBC do respond to chemotherapy, they also tend to become resistant or refractory to it. TNBC/mTNBC recurs approximately twice as quickly as other breast cancer types.5 In recent years, the use of novel antibody drug conjugates (ADCs) for mTNBC treatment has shown promising results, providing more treatment options and giving hope to mTNBC patients.6

Learn more about TNBC
HR-positive/HER2-negative (HER2-low and HER2-zero) BC

HR+/HER2- BC accounts for approximately 70% of all breast cancers, making it the most common breast cancer subtype. HR+/HER2- BC generally has a more favorable prognosis than other BC subtypes.7,8

The median 5-year survival rate of patients with metastatic BC (mBC) is 34%.9 The overexpression of hormone receptors in this subtype allows estrogen and progesterone to promote tumor growth and proliferation. Therefore, endocrine therapy (ET) is usually used as standard treatment in patients with HR+/HER2- mBC, combined with CDK4/6 inhibitors or targeted therapy when appropriate.10-12 After progressing on ET, treatment for HR+/HER2- mBC gets increasingly challenging. Treatment options are largely limited to different single-agent chemotherapy regimens.13 However, median overall survival with chemotherapy after ET resistance is only about 1 year and decreases with each additional chemotherapy regimen. Therefore, patients with endocrine-resistant HR+/HER2- mBC need alternative treatment options that prolong survival and maintain quality of life.13-14

In recent years, the use of novel antibody drug conjugates (ADCs) for HR+/HER2- mBC treatment has shown promising results, providing more treatment options and giving hope to HR+/HER2- mBC patients.14

HER2-positive BC

HER2+ BC accounts for approximately 15% of all breast cancers.9 It is characterized by an overexpression of the HER2 gene. HER2+ BC is known to be an aggressive type of breast cancer and used to be associated with a very poor prognosis. HER2 targeting treatment options, however, have greatly improved the prognosis of this BC subtype. Consequently, the HER2+ BC 5-year survival rate is now close to 90% for early BC and up to 45% for metastatic BC. Treatments vary from chemotherapy to different targeted agents, if applicable.9,15

Upcoming Events

2024 ASCO Annual Meeting

May 31-June 4, 2024
Chicago, USA

SAKK semi-annual meeting

June 25-27, 2024
Luzern, Switzerland

17th Pink Ribbon Charity Walk

September 8, 2024
Zurich, Switzerland

Annual Congress Schweizerische Gesellschaft für Senologie

September 12-13, 2024

Past Events

World TNBC Day

March 3, 2023
More information soon

Pink Ribbon Charity Walk

September 3, 2023
Zürich, Switzerland

SGS Congress

September 21-22, 2023
Zürich, Switzerland

Pink Cube - Test your Breast

September-October, 2023
Liestal, Chur, Baden, Zürich

Check out our Breast Cancer Publication Library

Check out our Breast Cancer Publication Library

Access the reserved area to find out more


  1. 1. fakten-zu-brustkrebs#:~:text=Brustkrebs%20ist%20die%20h%C3%A4ufigste%20Krebserkrankung,Quelle%3A%20Bundesamt%20f%C3%BCr%20Statistik (Accessed on 28.02.2023)
  2. 2. Robert Koch Institut, Zentrum für Krebsregisterdaten. Krebs in Deutschland für 2017/2018
  3. 3. Gennari A, et al. ESMO Clinical Practice Guideline for the diagnosis, staging and treatment of patients with metastatic breast cancer. Ann Oncol. 2021;32(12):1475-1495.
  4. 4. Orrantia-Borunda E, et al. Subtypes of Breast Cancer. In: Mayrovitz HN, editor. Breast Cancer [Internet]. Brisbane (AU): Exon Publications; 2022 Aug 6. Chapter 3.
  5. 5. (Accessed on 17.05.23)
  6. 6. Bardia A, et al. ASCENT Clinical Trial Investigators. Sacituzumab govitecan in metastatic triple-negative breast cancer. N Engl J Med. 2021;384(16):1529 – 1541.
  7. 7. American Cancer Society. Breast Cancer Facts & Figures 2022-2024 (Accessed on 17.05.23)
  8. 8. Meegdes M, et al. Real-world time trends in overall survival, treatments and patient characteristics in HR+/HER2- metastatic breast cancer: an observational study of the SONABRE Registry. Lancet Reg Health Eur. 2023;26:100573.
  9. 9. National Cancer Institute. Cancer Stat Facts: Female Breast Cancer Subtypes. (Accessed on 15.08.2023)
  10. 10. Leitlinienprogramm Onkologie (Deutsche Krebsgesellschaft, Deutsche Krebshilfe, AWMF): S3-Leitlinie Früherkennung, Diagnose, Therapie und Nachsorge des Mammakarzinoms, Version 4.4, 2021, AWMF Registernummer: 032-045OL, (Accessed on 15.08.23)
  11. 11. AGO-Leilinien. Diagnostik und Therapie früher und fortgeschrittener Mammakarzinome. (Accessed on 01.08.23)
  12. 12. ESMO Clinical Practice Guidelines: Breast Cancer, (Accessed on 15.08.23)
  13. 13. Planchat E, et al. Breast 2011;20(6):574–8.
  14. 14. Rugo HS, et al. Sacituzumab Govitecan in Hormone Receptor-Positive/Human Epidermal Growth Factor Receptor 2-Negative Metastatic Breast Cancer. J Clin Oncol. 2022;40(29):3365–3376.
  15. 15. Wang J, et al. Targeted therapeutic options and future perspectives for HER2-positive breast cancer. Signal Transduction and Targeted Therapy. 2019;4(34):1-22.

The referenced documents can be requested from Gilead Switzerland.

CH-UNB-0631, 01/24