Immunotherapy has been a game-changing treatment option when it comes to treating several cancers. But until recently, researchers hadn’t had much success using the therapy to fight breast cancer. That’s changing now. The IMpassion130 trial showed for the first time that a combination of immunotherapy and chemotherapy had a significant effect in treating metastatic triple negative breast cancer. Triple negative breast cancer is an extremely aggressive form of the disease, so this discovery is important.
“The question now becomes, is it only triple negative breast cancer that can benefit from immunotherapy, or are there other subtypes as well?” says Dr. Sylvia Adams, a medical oncologist at NYU Perlmutter Cancer Center. “If a tumor has the PD-L1 protein in it, that means there’s already an inflammatory response, that the patient’s immune system already recognized the tumor and was starting to work against it. The benefit of identifying such a strong biomarker in the triple negative subset will allow us to actually test for the presence and responsiveness to immunotherapy in other subtypes of breast cancer.”Read More