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Hope for immunotherapy in triple negative breast cancer care

Monday October 22nd, 2018

A trial of immunotherapy has shown for the first time it can extend life in patients with triple-negative breast cancer, a conference has heard.

British researchers reported that the treatment extended survival by up to ten months.

The findings, involving a randomised control trial of more than 900 patients, were reported to the conference of the European Society of Medical Oncology in Munich, Germany, and also published in the New England Journal of Medicine.

The treatment that was tested added the immunotherapy Atezolizumab to Nab-Paclitaxel. The researchers report that combined treatment reduced the risk of death or disease progression by up to 40%.

Researcher Professor Peter Schmid, clinical director of the breast cancer centre of St Bartholomew’s, London, said: “These results are a massive step forward. We are changing how triple-negative breast cancer is treated in proving for the first time that immune therapy has a substantial survival benefit.

“In a combined treatment approach, we are using chemotherapy to tear away the tumour’s immune-protective cloak to expose it as well as enabling people’s own immune system to get at it.”

He added: “Triple-negative breast cancer is an aggressive form of breast cancer; we have been desperately looking for better treatment options. It is particularly tragic that those affected are often young, with many themselves having young families.”

Peter Schmid et al. Atezolizumab and Nab-Paclitaxel in Advanced Triple-Negative Breast Cancer. NEJM 20 October 2018

https://www.nejm.org/doi/full/10.1056/NEJMoa1809615

Tags: Cancer | Europe | Pharmaceuticals | UK News | Women's Health & Gynaecology

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