Background Triple-negative breast cancer (TNBC) is a heterogeneous subgroup of breast cancer with poor prognosis and no targeted therapy available. Receptor tyrosine kinases (RTKs) are emerging targets in anticancer therapy and many RTK-inhibiting drugs are currently being developed. The aim of this study was to elucidate if there is a correlation between the protein expression of three RTKs c-KIT, VEGFR2 and PDGFR[alpha], their gene copy number, and prognosis in TNBC compared to non-TNBC. Methods Tumor tissue samples from patients diagnosed with primary breast cancer were stained with immunohistochemistry (IHC) for protein assessment, and with fluorescence in situ hybridization (FISH) for gene copy number determination. Breast cancer mortality (BCM), measured from the date of surgery to death, was used as endpoint. Results The cohort included 464 patients, out of which 34 (7.3%) had a TNBC. High expression of the three RTKs was more common in TNBC compared to non-TNBC: c-KIT 49% vs. 10% (P Conclusion c-KIT, VEGFR2 and PDGFR[alpha] show higher protein expression in TNBC compared to non-TNBC. Further investigation clarifying the importance of these RTKs in TNBC is encouraged, as they are possible targets for anticancer therapy.